Dawn Chorus 2015

If you notice something unusual in the natural world in your garden or on your travels or have a question about wildlife, ask the Mooney Goes Wild experts! We will do our best to get you the answer but remember a picture paints a thousand words so, if it is possible and safe to do so, take a picture and send it to Mooney@rte.ie

International Dawn Chorus Day takes place this year on Sunday, May 3rd, and to celebrate, Mooney Goes Wild will once more broadcast a six hour programme, from 00:00 - 06:00, to celebrate this ornithological opera!

What is the Dawn Chorus?

It is the collective sound of all the birds that sing at dawn. It usually refers to those sounds made by birds that sing during the breeding season, which for most birds in Ireland is between late March and the beginning of July. The dawn chorus is usually associated with woodland birds but it can be heard everywhere. Each habitat has its own distinctive "chorus members". 

The dawn chorus never ceases. It moves, with the early morning light, like a great wave on the face of the Earth. At this moment, somewhere in the world, the birds are waking up and bursting into song. Our ancestors, from time immemorial, awoke to this sound. Bird songs were, for countless millennia, part of everyday life. Nowadays, however, locked away in our concrete houses, few of us ever hear them.

Blue Tit (photo by Clive Timmons)

Each year, in May, International Dawn Chorus Day seeks to remind us of the beauty of that birdsong. This year, Mooney Goes Wild will broadcast that birdsong from locations right across the island of Ireland, and beyond these shores. 

Derek will be broadcasting live from Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in Co. Cork, alongside Dr. Richard Collins and Jim Wilson. In a marathon broadcast, running right through the night, he'll be linking up with a host of reporters in locations all across the country, from Glenveagh National Park in Co. Donegal, to Lough Boora Discovery Park in Co. Offaly, and from the Burren National Park in Co. Clare to Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin.

Male Chaffinch (photo by Michael Finn)

Some of Ireland's leading ornithologists and wildlife experts will be with us including Niall Hatch, Terry Flanagan, Eric Dempsey, Dave Duggan from the National Parks & Wildlife Service, as well as Dr. Richard Collins and Eanna ni Lamhna.

There’ll also be a chance to hear some wonderful wildlife documentaries.

And for the first time in the programme's 20-year history, we'll be linking up with our colleagues in BBC Radio Ulster, as they carry all six hours of the Mooney Goes Wild Dawn Chorus live across Northern Ireland. We'll have contributions from BBC Radio Ulster presenter Anne Marie McAleese and bird expert Dot Blakely.

So #makeadatewithnature next Sunday, May 3rd. Join us from midnight till 6am if you can, to hear some fascinating conversation about the nature of the birdsong. Or do as our feathered friends do, and start your day at 4am by tuning in to hear what makes this dawn of birdsong so very, very special...

Click here to read the press release about the Dawn Chorus programme, 20 years of Mooney Goes Wild, and our very special audiovisual installation at Cork Airport - and click here to view the artwork from the installation, with photos by Mark Carmody.


Audio tracks from 2005 RTÉ Guide CD The Dawn Chorus

The Birds Of The Dawn Chorus

Birdsong Explained

What Are Dawn Choruses About?

Taking Part In The Dawn Chorus

2015 Dawn Chorus Locations

Travelling Minstrels

Our Resident Singers

Identifying Birds By Sound

Where To Hear The Dawn Chorus

How To Identify The Singers & Their Songs

Podcasts From Dawn Chorus 2015

Dawn Chorus - First Hour (00:00 - 01:00)

Dawn Chorus - Second Hour (01:00 - 02:00)

Dawn Chorus - Third Hour (02:00 - 03:00)

Dawn Chorus - Fourth Hour (03:00 - 04:00)

Dawn Chorus - Fifth Hour (04:00 - 05:00)

Dawn Chorus - Sixth Hour (05:00 - 06:00)



Contact the Show

E-mail: mooney@rte.ie

Presenter: Derek Mooney

Series Producer: Ana Leddy

Ways to Listen

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