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Rewild your morning: Free Birdsong Radio app from the RSPB celebrates glorious UK birdlife

Friday 21 June 2019

To thank supporters of the RSPB’s Let Nature Sing campaign, which saw the first ever release of pure birdsong reach UK charts, the charity is launching a free birdsong radio app- RSPB Birdsong Radio.

Listening to the soft, sweet melodies of bird song is a sublime experience like no other.

Even as the seasonal dawn chorus fades, wildlife enthusiasts can revel in the sound of birdsong as the RSPB is releasing a new radio app to celebrate the success of a campaign to highlight the shocking loss of over 40 million birds from the UK in 50 years.

RSPB research carried out earlier this year showed despite the fact one in ten wildlife UK species are critically endangered, just 15 per cent of people realise nature is in crisis.

In fact, over a quarter of the UK believes nature is doing well. The reality is that 56 per cent of species in the UK are in decline and our natural world is facing an immediate crisis.

Let Nature Sing was an arrangement of some of the UK’s most loved and most threatened bird songs, created to raise awareness of the cost of doing nothing to stop the disaster facing nature, which is pushing many UK birds towards extinction.

The public support was overwhelming, smashing our expectations; Let Nature Sing reached No 18 in the charts, more than 23,000 people downloaded the track and the message got through.

Our birdsong app is inspired by the popular former Radio Birdsong, a broadcast of layered bird calls and country sounds used as a test transmission for Classic FM and for digital radio stations during the 90s and 00s. At its peak it was thought to have 500,000 weekly listeners and its removal was met with widespread public outcry and media coverage.

RSPB’s Adrian Thomas, who recorded the main 35-minute birdsong loop you can hear on the RSPB Birdsong Radio app, said : “We wanted to create a gentle, ambient background chorus of some of our most-loved and seriously endangered birds to take listeners on an uplifting walk through the countryside.

“People take bird song for granted but our skies are slowly falling silent. Countryside ramblers would struggle to hear the songs of some of the most beautiful birds on the track now.”

Radio engineer and broadcaster Quentin Howard, who founded the original Radio Birdsong and helped develop RSPB Birdsong Radio, said there was a public outcry when Digital One decided to remove Radio Birdsong in favour of music from unsigned bands.

He said: “Listener response was always amazing and I had hundreds of letters and emails.

“When it was live the original Radio Birdsong was used in a cancer ward whilst patients received chemotherapy treatment, by prisoners who hadn’t heard birds for 25 years and in hospital and dentist waiting rooms to calm patients’ nerves.

“People used it to get their babies off to sleep.

“There was quite a backlash when Radio Birdsong ceased transmissions in 2009.”

“Working with the RSPB on the creation of this app was a delight.”

Listeners of the RSPB Birdsong Radio app can hear a soothing soundscape of UK birdsong; featuring species suffering serious decline from all four UK countries such as the turtle dove, nightingale, snipe, greenfinch and curlew.

Launching today to coincide with summer solstice celebrations of nature, RSPB Birdsong Radio is the perfect soundtrack to your commute, morning routine or even just the washing up.

A handy alarm-clock feature will allow listeners to wake up to the gentle purring of the turtle dove rather than a blaring alarm.

The app will also give users the option to hear multiple birdsong tracks including Quentin’s original Radio Birdsong audio as well as an edited version of the Let Nature Sing track that made it to number 18 in the charts.

The RSPB Birdsong Radio app will be available to download from mobile device app stores at midnight on Friday June 21.

Search ‘RSPB Birdsong Radio’ to download our free app.

Wildlife devotees will also be able to tune in via our website at www.rspb.org.uk/letnaturesing

Last Updated: Monday 6 April 2020

To thank supporters of the RSPB’s Let Nature Sing campaign, which saw the first ever release of pure birdsong reach UK charts, the charity is launching a free birdsong radio app- RSPB Birdsong Radio.

Zeebra Designs & Destinations

An Artist’s Eyes Never Rest

DAB Day – April 8

07 Tuesday Apr 2020

(DAB? “What is DAB Day?”)

April 8 is Draw a Bird Day!

(First: Thank you for your beautiful response to the post about the hungry iguanas. My internet time is very limited, so instead of replying to those comments I’m sharing this Draw a Bird Day story written last night at the apartment. I love you all! Lisa)

Please consider taking five minutes or ten or half an hour or half a day – and draw a bird!

The DAB Day website shares the story of a delightful 7-year old girl who uplifted her uncle’s spirits. Her blunt critique of his drawing triggered a lovely tradition of ‘drawing birds’ just for the joy of drawing a bird – but the story is best told on the website: DABday

From the site: How do I celebrate Draw A Bird Day?
Quite simply, just draw a bird and share it with whomever you choose. The drawings are not meant to be “professionally” done by any means, though that certainly can be the case if you are so talented. The important thing is just to draw and bird and share it.
Can I send you my bird drawings?

YES you can. Simply click here to submit your own Draw A Bird Day submissions. We will do our best to get them online as soon as possible. Keep them 1000 x 1000 pixels or smaller, and in .jpg, .png, or .bmp file formats only please.

A plastic pink flamingo, weathered and faded, remains a faithful companion. Brittle from exposure to heat and sun, glued and splinted from various contusions, a survivor from the earthquake, this frail bird holds dear memories, especially when it was ‘given’ to me.

In an attempt at anonymous humor in an historic neighborhood of strict ‘city planning’ rules, my lovely neighbor tucked the flamingo near the back entrance gardens to my home. (1997?) The flamingo gave my heart a huge smile! I suspected that the giver received an-even greater smile when she pondered how long it would take me to figure out who left it at my door! I was right, and even months later, when she apologetically stated, “You don’t have to keep that in your flower bed…” – I assured her that I treasured the flamingo.

Whenever I pause to ponder the faded bird, which has been painted to bring back the bright colors, I am instantly reconnected to my friend. Of all of the birds I could draw for this day to remember the young Dorie Cooper, I thought it was time to give the flamingo a moment in the spotlight!

Briefly transplanting it from a cluster of begonias, I placed it in the larger pot of a slow-growing Ceibo tree. (From 2011 until the earthquake, the Flamingo lived at the base of the ceibo.) I sat beneath the branches of the ceibo (yes, in the apartment!) and drew the bird. Just as I finished, the nearby church bells rang 2 o’clock, a reminder to all that the curfew had started – a reminder to me that yes, we are under strict rules, but time flies when immersed in drawing.

With time to devote to the theme of ‘just drawing birds,’ I also drew some whimsical birds – from a few minutes to longer – all examples of the joy of drawing for fun.

After so many drawing exercises, I wasn’t surprised that the next drawing magically asserted the right to be added to this post! Last night I added color via computer to this one and to the flamingo.

This will be published on the 7th so that most of you will have time – if desired – to join others in honoring Dorie Cooper – and perhaps giving your drawing to an unexpected recipient.

This morning I moved the ceibo to photograph it near the painting of the ceibo…

And for Lynda, here’s the closeup of the iguana in that painting!

It would be nice if the flamingo could find its way to the neighbor who gave it to me. She might be surprised to know that the bird remains a true treasure in my heart!

(DAB? "What is DAB Day?") April 8 is Draw a Bird Day! (First: Thank you for your beautiful response to the post about the hungry iguanas. My internet time is very limited, so instead of replying to those comments I'm sharing this Draw a Bird Day story written last night at the apartment. I love…