Related topics: birds

These migratory birds will risk their lives for a good nap

When driving across country, people can only make it so far before stopping off to rest. Likewise, most migratory songbirds must make stops during their long-distance journeys to sleep along the way. Now, researchers have ...

Study reveals key locations for declining songbird

Many of North America's migratory songbirds, which undertake awe-inspiring journeys twice a year, are declining at alarming rates. For conservation efforts to succeed, wildlife managers need to know where they go and what ...

Screw-shaped bird sperm swim faster—but it comes at a cost

A study by Ph.D. student Hanna Nyborg Støstad has investigated the peculiar spiral shape of songbird sperm. Støstad compared sperm cells of 36 bird species including house sparrows and tree swallows, and found that species ...

The evolution of bird-of-paradise sex chromosomes revealed

Birds-of-paradise are a group of songbird species, and are known for their magnificent male plumage and bewildering sexual display. Now, an international collaborative study involving the University of Vienna, Zhejiang University ...

How birds learn

Songbirds can acquire new abilities both through observation and through trial and error. However, skills acquired with the latter method are more easily adapted to new situations, as scientists at ETH and the University ...

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Songbird

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A songbird is a bird belonging to the order of Passeriformes (ca. 4000 species), in which the vocal organ is developed in such a way as to produce various sound notes, commonly known as bird song. There is evidence to suggest that songbirds evolved about 50 million years ago in the western part of Gondwana that later became Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Antarctica, before spreading around the world.

This 'bird song' is essentially territorial in that it communicates the identity and whereabouts of an individual to other birds and also signals sexual intentions. It is not to be confused with bird calls, which are used for alarms and contact, and are especially important in birds that feed or migrate in flocks.

Other birds have songs to attract mates or hold territory, but these are usually simple and repetitive, lacking the variety of many passerine songs. The monotonous repetition of the Common Cuckoo or Little Crake can be contrasted with the variety of a Nightingale or Marsh Warbler.

Although many songbirds have songs which are pleasant to the human ear, this is not invariably the case. Many members of the crow family make croaks or screeches which sound harsh to humans.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA