Teaching wild birds to sing a new tune

Like toddlers learning to speak, young birds learn to sing by listening to the voices of adults. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on October 4 have shown for the first time that they could teach young sparrows ...

Creating a (synthetic) song from a zebra finch's muscle

Birds create songs by moving muscles in their vocal organs to vibrate air passing through their tissues. While previous research reported that each of the different muscles controls one acoustic feature, new research shows ...

Birds have time-honored traditions, too

What makes human cultural traditions unique? One common answer is that we are better copycats than other species, which allows us to pass our habits and ways of life down through the generations without losing or forgetting ...

Long-term study reveals fluctuations in birds' nesting success

Understanding the factors that affect a bird species' nesting success can be crucial for planning effective conservation efforts. However, many studies of nesting birds last only a few years—and that means they can miss ...

Scientists remind their peers: Female birds sing, too

When North American ornithologists hear a bird singing, they're likely to assume it's a male. But in many species, the females sing too—and a new commentary in The Auk: Ornithological Advances argues that a better understanding ...

Noise pollution forces Canadian songbirds to change their tunes

Some Canadian songbirds have to change their tunes because noise pollution from things like oil and gas drilling equipment otherwise drowns out important parts of their songs, University of Manitoba researchers have found.

Bird recognition

Birds play an important role in a wide variety of ecosystems as both predator and prey, in controlling insect populations, pollinating and seed dispersal for many plants, and in releasing nutrients on to land and sea in the ...

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