Why does the rooster crow in the morning?

With its powerful “cocorico”, the rooster often wakes up the inhabitants of nearby houses. And for good reason, this gallinaceous bird begins to sing as soon as it sees the first rays of the sun. But this behavior is by no means unique in the animal kingdom. “The rooster is not the only bird to sing in the morning, it is even the general rule in nature: the morning is the best time to sing for the birds of our parks and gardens”clarifies from the outset to Science and Future Frédéric Malher, territorial adviser of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO). “By singing at dawn, in calm, ambient noise bothers the rooster less, and researchers have shown that the sound propagates better in calm weather very early in the morning. So that, when the sky is low, whether it rains or the wind blows, he sings less or later in the morning”, adds Jean-François Magne, head of the LPO Île-de-France delegation.

The crowing of the rooster, to mark its territory and impress the females

The rooster in our backyards, which has been domesticated, descends from a wild species. “It remains a bird and communicates – among other things – thanks to its song, but also with cries, or cackles, explains Jean-François Magne. As with most birds, it is the male who sings. This allows him to assert his territory with other males in the area and to attract females. So to impose its supremacy, the rooster needs its song to carry as far as possible, and cover the song of competing males who respond at the top of their voices.

As things are done well, the females respond better to the expectations of the male in the morning, because they are more fertile. “Scientists also believe that singing on an empty stomach is a sign of male vigor, suggesting good reproductive value, adds Frédéric Mahler. Not to mention that in the morning, the insects are not yet active and the birds would be a little idle, so singing does not waste too much time.”

The rooster can also crow during the day or in the evening

Thus, all the conditions are met for the roosters to sing in the morning.“However, even if the rest of the day is used for the search for food, the roosters can also crow during the day or in the evening”concludes Jean-François Magne.

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