Richard Smyth explains why we love birdsong

Unless you’ve been ignoring me on here, on Facebook, Twitter, 500px and elsewhere, you probably noticed I’ve had a bit of an avian fixation recently. I’m writing about them, photographing them for a gallery of British Birds, and generally educating myself about our feathered friends. By sheer coincidence, my own book publisher (E&T) sent me a copy of a book about birdsong (A Sweet, Wild Note) by my nest-mate Richard Smyth, which I have mentioned elsewhere.

In it, Smyth discusses the nature and context of birdsong, what it means to us and our best guess as to what it means to birds. He talks of avian musicality and our own efforts to emulate birdsong and to be inspired by it in various ways. My current avian addiction, which probably stretches back to spotting my first kingfisher almost thirty years ago had me noddling about with some musical ideas. Not so much attempting to emulate birdsong, but feeling inspired by one of my favourites, the blue tit, which I’ve happily stalked around local woodland as the trees vernalise and the dapper little chaps pair up.