| 31 May 2023
All India Radio (AIR) World Service brings back International Dawn Chorus Day tradition

MUMBAI: Live celebration to air of birdsong on International Dawn Chorus Day, which has always been a tradition of broadcaster’s collaboration. It is said to break this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the initiative of the All India Radio World Service has ensured that the novel practice continues.

Every year the first Sunday in the month of May is celebrated as International Dawn Chorus Day.

According to the research, International broadcasters from about 70 countries collaborate to air a live seven-hour celebration of birdsong in which listeners are taken through an aural journey, as the great wave of birdsong gradually moves from east to west with the rising sun.

It is, quite literally, the sound of our planet turning on its axis. The broadcast is carried by more than 400 radio stations across the world, with a truly staggering audience of over a billion people, a statement said.

Originally conceived and broadcast for over 20 years by the Irish state broadcaster Raidió Telefís Éireann (RTÉ), the programme became international five years ago.

Since 2017, All India Radio (AIR), in association of European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and RTE Ireland through its World Service has been bringing the avian symphony to Indian listeners from most exotic locations world over and also taking songs of Indian birds to the world from different bird sanctuaries in the country in one of the most challenging and coordinated international broadcasting efforts.

This year, International Dawn Chorus Day was scheduled for May 3 but the main organisers, EBU and RTE, were forced to call off the event due to the coronavirus outbreak, the statement said.

Prasar Bharati took the challenge upon itself to ensure that bird lovers are not deprived and people get to know the nature and birds more intimately decided to broadcast a daily dawn chorus since April 9 by crowdsourcing birds'' songs from its listeners spread across the country, it said.

The World Service of All India Radio, which is producing this unique crowd-sourced dawn chorus, approached other international broadcasters to join the effort to air a two-hour international dawn chorus on May 3 so that the event is not skipped even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many international broadcasters, including EBU, RTE, BBC Scotland, as well as ad broadcasters in some neighbouring countries have agreed to participate and contribute.

Besides this, many international listeners have also come forward with their own recordings.

Based on all these, a special International Dawn Chorus featuring bird songs from across the continents shall be broadcast from 5.45 am to 7.45 am from FM Rainbow (102.6 Mhz), Rajdhani Channel (450.5 mts 666 khz).

International audience can listen to the live streaming on airworldservice.