This time of year hundreds of birds come to the mountains. Before the sunrise they begin to awaken, as they do, they begin to sing their various songs. All together they sound like a boisterous cacophony, but soon you hear their individual sounds and it becomes a symphony of beauty and awe.

I suppose there is no one word to describe such a beautiful scene and I'll have to write a paragraph to describe this most inspiring of God's creative wonders.

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    Hire a poet. Or a poem. – John Lawler Jun 5 '18 at 13:47
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    One rare quiet morning I heard the Sun rise. – Bread Jun 5 '18 at 22:48
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    You've described what in my mind is the perpetual state of The Garden of Eden. Paradise. – Mazura Jun 7 '18 at 6:37
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    melodious: In non-technical use, bird songs are the bird sounds that are melodious to the human ear. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_vocalization – GeekyDaddy Jun 7 '18 at 15:03
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    Came here to suggest cacophony, in part because it's hard to get to the beauty and awe stage when you're trying to remain asleep at 5:00 AM – studog Jun 7 '18 at 18:34

It's usually called the...

dawn chorus
the singing of birds together just before dawn - Cambridge Dictionary

I have the impression this usage is more common in BrE than AmE - I don't know of any widespread AmE alternative, but I stand to be corrected on that. And I don't know any equivalent term for deafening birdsong in the evening (which I suspect in my area is exacerbated by all-night street lights; the birds never just shut up and go to sleep).

EDIT: Prompted by T.E.D.'s comment below, I just checked out this NGram...

enter image description here

...which clearly shows that - as I suspected - the usage is significantly more common in BrE. But I still don't know any AmE equivalent / alternative.

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    Never heard it in AmE, but as a native speaker I'd allow it. Its easy enough to figure out from context, and could just be considered a descriptive term. – T.E.D. Jun 5 '18 at 13:28
  • I suspected that might be the case, but at the time of writing the original post I couldn't remember (and couldn't be bothered to look up) how to compare "prevalence" between US/UK corpuses in NGrams. Anyway, your comment has at least prompted me to go the extra mile on that score, and it's nice to see support for my guess. – FumbleFingers Jun 5 '18 at 13:40
  • I have heard this as a native North American and have seen it used in a book on outdoor survival skills written by a North American (years ago, don't remember title or author. Some self-aggrandizing blow-hard from New Jersey). But I start work at such an hour that I hear this most days (except in winter), so it's near the top of my mind. – MickeyfAgain_BeforeExitOfSO Jun 5 '18 at 14:03
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    And I don't know any equivalent term for deafening birdsong in the evening. Try googling "Evening Chorus". There's this result from the BBC and this one from a British birdwatchibg site. The term isn't as common as "Dawn Chorus" but it is used. – BoldBen Jun 5 '18 at 22:46
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    I learned the "dawn chorus" name from Winnie the Pooh. And while Milne may have been British, I learned it from the American Disney cartoons. So I think it is okay as an American term. – trlkly Jun 6 '18 at 6:26

Although the term for this behaviour is the "dawn chorus", the word "chorus" is quite okay by itself:

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I too like morning chorus. Consider birdsong too.

the musical call of a bird or birds.

As in: finedictionary

'Daylight and a loud chorus of birdsong woke them'.

Through the open window came a trill of morning birdsong.

Symphony? Forget it. Morning birdsong is a conglomeration of soloists, busily singing as loud and as often as they can, with no regard for the overall effect.

In AmE birdsong is also used for morning, evening, after storms and during the mating season. See the following Ngram search of AmE usage. Dawn chorus prevails.

dawn chorus- morning dawn birdsong

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  • I think "frequently" might be overstating it. – Kevin Jun 5 '18 at 15:37
  • It is slightly more frequent that morning chorus, but less frequently used than tmesis or crepuscular. I'm a fairly well read native speaker of AmE, and I'd never heard of "morning birdsong" before reading your answer, so to say it is used "frequently" is, imho, overstating its usage – Kevin Jun 5 '18 at 17:44
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    @Mari-LouA aye aye! – lbf Jun 5 '18 at 18:27
  • If you look at actual examples, is the latter coming from phrasing like "In the morning, birdsong ... [woke me|drifted in through the window|etc]"? – Will Crawford Jun 7 '18 at 23:06

The title asks for one word. I originally thought cacophony was a good thing, apparently its not. So here is the antonym:


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A Decemberists song called "June Hymn" contains the lyric "a panoply of song" to describe the "dawn chorus". Panoply is a noun which means "an extensive or impressive collection"; "a splendid display"; or "a complete suit of armor" (to get medieval).

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