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Is it too early to expect the dawn chorus? At 5 am today I could distinctly hear five birds, rather than a joyful cacophany.

Sent in by Carole Jefferson, Loughborough

Birds are certainly having a rehearsal at the moment and the 'joyful cacophany' is merely waiting in the wings. Some birds will have been singing for several weeks with blackbirds and robins being joined by song thrushes as they defend territory and attract mates.

During April many others, including summer migrants, will join in as it reaches a peak during early May. Since the clocks sprang forward, many of us have been entertained by birdsong without having to rise any earlier. This won't last for long though, and, as daylight stretches, many birds will have fallen relativey quiet by the time we are up and about.

This year, International Dawn Chorus Day falls on 1 May. By then, you will need to be up by 4 am or even earlier, as the first birds tune up about an hour before sunrise. If you're not an early bird don't despair; the dawn chorus builds up gradually as more songsters join in. Don't linger too long in bed though, or it will all be over.

So, your five birds will soon be joined by many, many others, and a glorious sound it will be too.

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