General information about birds

The world of birds is unique and magical! Just think about their ways of using beautiful songs to communicate, and the majestic efforts they undertake every year to migrate to far away places on the other side of the world!

The communication of birds

Birds produce various sounds which allow them to communicate with each other. These sounds are usually divided into two categories, the song (which is usually melodical and complex) and the calls (which are usually simple and short).

Most bird species which we can find in the city belong to the songbirds, that is, to the group of birds that can produce melodical sounds. However, this is a misleading name for the group: not all songbirds actually sing (for example, ravens and crows do not), and not all birds that sing belong to the songbirds! (If you want to know more about this confusion just ask us during on of the next seminars or reach out via mail, twitter or facebook!)

Of the species in our area, only the males sing, whereas the females use only calls to communicate. The males sing mainly in spring during the mating season, and only rarely in winter. They use their song to find a female, but also to announce and defend their territory.

The sounds of birds help us a lot to identify them, especially when the bird is hidden in a bush or tree. The sounds, however, can tell us of its presence, and as each species produces different sounds we can even identify them by their voice! However, some clever birds (such as the magpie or the starling) can imitate other birds and confuse us!




Many bird species migrate to other regions of the world during the difficult months of the year in order to find better living conditions and more food. Therefore, in spring many species arrive in Europe to reproduce and raise their young, but in autumn they migrate to the warmer regions of the world, such as Africa and Asia. Many of the species that nest in our areas are migratory, such as the swallows and the swifts.

During migration, birds cover very large distances and encounter many dangers. They need to overcome obstacles such as crossing the Mediterranean Sea or the Sahara desert! Their journey is exhausting, as they have to travel for many days or weeks and use up much of their energy. When they find a suitable place, they rest and feed to recover. Also, during their journey they might easily become food for other predators or they might get shot by hunters.

Other bird species may migrate only for shorter distances. Some species only migrate in winter from mountainous areas to lower elevations where the climate is milder and more food is available. Examples for such birds are the robin, the blackcap and the black redstart.