Offbeat — 12 June 2013

Why do birds chirp so early in the morning

It’s that time of the year again. You wake up from a deep slumber to the sound of thousands of birds chirping outside your window. You get up thinking that it is morning already and you might probably be late for work if you don’t hurry up. Then you happen to look at the alarm clock, which reads 4:30 A.M. Your rage knows no bounds as you bite your teeth, clench your fists and mouth a few good expletives at those increasingly noisy birds outside. And in the midst of all these things, you wonder as to why these creatures start their daily racket long before the sun even comes up?

Almost all of us face this situation at frequent intervals and get the same question, ‘What is it that makes these birds start chirping so early in the morning? While the phrase ‘The early bird catches the worm’ works to an extent, there are other interesting factors that come into play here. And here are some of them.

The Early Bird does catch the Worm

The phrase was true after all. Early in the mornings, the ground would be soft and moist owing to the cold night temperature. This would be the perfect time for birds to wake up and hunt for food, i.e. insects and worms that would find it difficult to hide under the ground. The birds can easily peck through the loose soil to get the insects and worms.

Territorial Markings

Birds like to be the first ones to mark their territory so that their food, nesting and partner do not get encroached on by others. This is probably why they start chirping aloud the moment they wake up in the morning; to tell the world (and other birds in the vicinity) that they are very much alive and fit enough to give a fight to any other bird which dares to enter their marked territory. And even though all the birds may sound the same to us, each bird has a unique sound in reality that acts as its identity.

Increase in Metabolic Rate

Birds usually tend to experience a state called ‘mini hibernation’ when they sleep in cold temperatures at night. During this period, their body metabolism usually drops to very low levels. Birds are said to chirp excitedly as soon as the wake up in order to revive the metabolic rate (similar to humans who exercise in the mornings).


About Author

Vinod Sharma

Master in English literature and having more than five years of blogging experience, Vinod Sharma is competitive in nature and likes taking on new tasks and challenges put forth both personally and professionally. Simple living and high thinking is a quote synonymous to him.

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