Birdsong returns to RTÉ Radio with the Dawn Chorus 2023

RTÉ Radio’s live Dawn Chorus is back on May 7th in a simulcast between Radio 1 and lyric FM.

For almost three decades now, Derek Mooney and his team of experts have been bringing the uplifting and fascinating strains of early-morning birdsong to listeners.  

International Dawn Chorus Day will take place on Sunday 7th May and this year the Mooney Goes Wild team will be bringing featuring live birdsong and expert commentary from midnight through to 7:00am on RTÉ Radio One, in a simulcast with RTÉ Lyric FM.

Presenter Derek Mooney says: “Interest in the natural world has never been higher. People have a greater appreciation of our flora and fauna and for the songs of our wild birds.”

‘Home base’ once again this year will be BirdWatch Ireland’s Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in Cobh, Co. Cork, where the main presentation team of Derek Mooney, Niall Hatch, Éanna Ní Lamhna and local ornithologist Alan Farrell will introduce the dawn chorus and, while the birdsong builds in real time, explain to listeners what our feathered friends are getting up to as the sun rises.

Across the country, Dr Richard Collins, Eric Dempsey and Terry Flanagan will also bring us the birdsong from their parts of Ireland, as the sun gradually breaks the horizon and the birds begin their performances.

RTÉ is partnering with BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Wales for the broadcast.

“From Kate Bush to Messiaen, from Respighi to Charlie Parker, the song and chatter of birds have always been a huge inspiration to musicians and composers. The sheer variety of bird calls – the cheery gossip of garden visitors, the exotic and lush swoops of tropical aristocrats, the almost heart-breaking lonesome call of the curlew – these are music in themselves.

“Our human musical response is an attempt to celebrate our beautiful and precious natural world, and delight in the riches that we are fortunate to live alongside.  How can we not smile when we hear the first stirrings of the birds on an early May morning?” says Sinead Wyle, Head of RTÉ Lyric FM.

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