is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

What Time Do Birds Wake Up

what time do birds wake up

As a bird watcher, it is normal for you to ask what time do birds wake up? The moment you hear these birds singing very early, even before sunrise, it only means that birds are early risers compared to humans.

But to answer the question, birds usually wake up an hour or so before sunrise. Once they wake up, they will start singing in what the scientist called the dawn choruses. Typically, birds tend to wake up the moment they sense that the daylight is coming, but this timing varies depending on several factors, which will be discussed in this article.

Bird’s Wake Up An Hour Before Sunrise

The normal time that a bird usually wakes up is an hour before sunrise. The timing should be around 4:00 to 5:00 am, but this timing can change depending on several factors, such as the weather. But more importantly, you will know that the birds already wake up the moment you hear them singing with their dawn choruses.

The dawn choruses may happen in the wee hours of the morning and will continue for several hours. Do not get me wrong because birds can sing any time of the day. But the dawn choruses are different because they are livelier and louder than when the birds are naturally singing.

The way the birds look at the daybreak also influences the time when they wake up. The bird’s perception is that the presence of the light in the environment surrounding them is the signal or an indication for the time to wake up and start doing their dawn choruses. But what are the reasons behind these beautiful dawn choruses? Check out below:

  • This dawn chorus is usually performed by male birds who are trying to attract mates using their voices while also warning male birds of their territory.
  • Singing early in the morning on an empty stomach requires strength, which means that the male birds are trying to show potential mates their strength, healthy body, and hold or control of the territory.
  • Singing early in the morning is clearer and more consistent. The quality of the voice will let other birds be informed of the presence of the singing birds and let them know of his presence and its control of the territory.

When you hear those birds singing early in the morning, there are more reasons behind it than just singing early in the day. The male birds are just trying to look for mates or just trying to establish authority in their chosen territory.

Factors Affecting the Bird’s Wake Up Timing

what time do birds sleep

The bird waking up an hour before sunrise is just the standard timing which means many birds are doing it, but not all of them. In addition, other factors can affect the bird’s wake up timing which are listed below:

Type of Season

The time of the year can also influence the timing of the birds waking up at a particular time in the morning. During the summer or spring, it is normal for the birds to sing dawn choruses very early, while it can be very late in the morning in the winter.

The reason? During the summer, the daytime is longer, and the nighttime is shorter. So expect the sunrise to come very early, influencing the birds to wake up early. This situation contrasts with during the winter season, when the nighttime is usually longer, making the birds wake up very late.

Type of Bird Species

The type of bird species can also influence the time when the birds wake up early in the morning. Early in the morning, you will probably hear blackbirds, wrens, and robins singing early in the morning. These birds are usually waking up early to do their dawn chorus.

After an hour or so, they will be joined by the warblers and wood pigeons. These birds are considered pre-dawned singers. The last group of birds will sing once there is enough sunlight on the outside for them to see. These birds include sparrows, finches, and blue tits.

And do not forget those nocturnal birds who have different sleeping patterns. Nocturnal birds are wide awake at night and sleep during the way, which means they have different timing when it comes to waking up and sleeping.

Too Much Artificial Lighting

Too much artificial lighting can also affect the timing of the birds waking up early in the morning. Experiments have concluded that lights from street lamps can make the birds wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual.

This light pollution in many urban areas can affect this bird habit because, as mentioned earlier, birds use their perception of the lights surrounding them to determine when they wake up. Having so much artificial light can affect this normal time of the birds waking up early in the morning.

These days, artificial lights will make the environment brighter than usual, which creates an effect that will damage the natural rhythm of the birds, especially in their biological clock. The bright environment will make the birds think that it is already sunrise, making them wake up earlier than normal.

What Time Do Birds Sleep

In general, birds will find a place to rest and sleep as soon as the sun begins to set. According to experts, birds need to sleep 10 to 12 hours maximum. The moment the sun goes down, they will try to sleep immediately for as long as possible.

If the birds sleep at 7:00 pm, expect them to wake up at around 5:00 am to 7:00 am. For domestic birds, they do not sleep as long as the wild birds. They will sleep when you put them to sleep. For example, you can put them to sleep at 10 am and wake them up at 10 am for a perfect 12 hours of sleep.


What time do birds wake up? In general, birds wake up an hour before the sunrise when they will do their dawn chorus. However, other factors can possibly affect the timing of these birds in waking up, such as the current season, the type of bird, and the lighting pollution that usually happens in the urban area.

Rate this post

Leave a Comment