just wanted to write and say Thank You for organising such a great
event. As first time participants, unused to such an early start to
the day, we were really impressed with the whole event, the leadership
of the birders from the VNHS, the variety of birds and the atmosphere
and festivities at Dr. Sun Yat–Sen Gardens.
Participant, Dawn Chorus 2001
links: Dawn Chorus Plan 2001
and School Outreach
The SongBird Dawn Chorus Day was developed and registered as part of International Dawn Chorus Day , which originated in England. Since it was our goal to engender caring place-relations, and the view of community as comprising more than human interests, we created, along with the help of our partners - the Vancouver Natural History Society, the Roundhouse Arts & Community Centre, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and others - an event to foreground and nurture community feeling and awareness.
A community event to affirm & celebrate songbirds in the city.
On the first Sunday of every May, people all over the world get up
with the birds and listen. It's the Dawn Chorus.
The annual International Dawn Chorus began in England approximately
14 years ago and has since spread to countries throughout the world.
In its traditional form, people get up early on the first Sunday in
each May, to listen to songbirds and report on the birds counted in
their location. These reports are then forwarded to a special registry
in the UK.
In 1999, SongBird expanded the concept of the Dawn Chorus and created
an outreach strategy to connect with local communities, educating
and encouraging citizens in their relationship with their distinct
local habitat and fauna. This strategy includes some or all of the
– Partnerships. Forming working partnerships with arts,
environmental, media, industry and community groups whose interests
dovetail with the project.
– Media strategy. Developing and implementing innovative
information dissemination and feedback environments for the interaction
of SongBird and our partners with the larger community. One of these
environments may be the creation of a youth advisory and participation
committee for the annual Dawn Chorus event.
– Community listening sites. Assisting with the organisation
of early morning listening sites in communities based on the Dawn
Chorus template. In 2001 we had 8 sites throughout the Lower Mainland
of Vancouver, and in 2002 we added a site in Victoria. Each site is
staffed with volunteer ornithologists from local communities to aid
in bird identification and to lead the community participants in a
bird walk/talk and the urban bird count.
– Community dialogue and celebrations. Post listening
site gatherings at central locations for songbird-friendly coffee,
muffins, a count of the morning's bird sightings, community dialogue
and arts events to celebrate our shared environment. Topics of discussion
may focus on how urban dwellers can support indigenous birds and their
habitats and the best consumer choices to support sustainable living.
Arts events may include performances or exhibitions by some of the
country’s best professional artists, alongside community, youth groups
These performances and exhibitions are not grand galas. Dawn Chorus
Day events, while they may be high profile, are meant to be intimate
community events. Rather than focussing on a single large event in
one location, we’re interested in community engagement, and in many
small events spread over a large area. Our hope is that the event
will be picked up and “personalised” by other community groups, thereby
spreading the word farther afield. SongBird may act as consultant
to these groups and assist as required with event development and
set-up, etc. However, our intention is that these events become community
driven and directed. SongBird initiated its first Dawn Chorus event