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Author Topic: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?  (Read 14328 times)

Offline Exodus

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Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« on: 29/04/2004 10:48:33 »
Ok here is an intersting one. Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing OR do they have the ability to listen and learn them from other birds? [?]
« Last Edit: 30/06/2004 09:06:11 by Exodus »


 

Offline tweener

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #1 on: 29/04/2004 16:55:51 »
I think most birds are born knowing their songs, but there are some (Mockingbirds for one) that mimick other bird songs or other sounds.  Birds raised in captivity without others of their speices will still sing their own song.

I once had a neighbor that liked to cut boards (I don't know what for) with a circular saw.  He was terrible, always lugging the saw down and binding the blade etc.  There was a mockingbird in the neighborhood that did a very good imitation of the tortured saw.  The other day I heard one imitating an ambulance siren.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #2 on: 29/04/2004 19:30:35 »
I think birdies are born/hatched knowing a rudimentary bird song like 'give me food' etc and probably learn to sing more complex conversations as they grow....presumably as babies they have a limited vocabulary like we do.

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #3 on: 29/04/2004 23:58:09 »
I think it may to do with the structure of the vocal cords the bird is born with

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Offline qazibasit

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #4 on: 01/07/2004 17:58:54 »
well this is their inherited behaviour like a infant after birth start having milk.
 

Offline DrN

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #5 on: 02/07/2004 13:39:04 »
if i remember my lectures correctly i think its imprinting. there is a certain amount of intrinsic information and a certain amount that is learnt from the mother, and i think bird song was imprinted, at least to a certain extent. otherwise how would species be indentifiable from their song all over the world? you know what chinese whispers does to us, imagine it with bird song!

they must learn some songs though: we have a starling that does an uncanny impression of our telephone, but only when you're at the top of the garden and have to run to get it!
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #6 on: 02/07/2004 15:31:10 »
well if a bird will still sing its own song even being raised with other birds I think that shows that their songs are already present as instinct don't you think? I guess each species is different; mockingbirds have the ability to learn new songs rather that staying with their own present set of songs as other birds ...

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Offline neilep

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #7 on: 02/07/2004 17:31:17 »
I'm sure birdies have their own ' accent ' and 'voice ' which is specific to each type of bird....ie: a robin must sound different to a sparrow etc.......I'm positive that they must be born with a birdsong imprint....or a bird call and as they grow their songs are fine tuned and honed which they learn form mummy and/or daddy bird.

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Offline DrN

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #8 on: 02/07/2004 21:36:40 »
come to think of it I'm sure i read somewhere just this week that something - pigeons, ducks, can't remember - have regional dialects, so that city birds sound slightly different to their country kinfolk! I'm getting images of pigeons with bowler hats and briefcases next to pigeons chewing bits of straw. people get paid to do this kind of research.
 

Offline DrN

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #9 on: 02/07/2004 21:38:04 »
wahoo! just noticed I've been given the distinction of being average!!
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #10 on: 02/07/2004 23:16:32 »
quote:
Originally posted by fishytails

come to think of it I'm sure i read somewhere just this week that something - pigeons, ducks, can't remember - have regional dialects, so that city birds sound slightly different to their country kinfolk! I'm getting images of pigeons with bowler hats and briefcases next to pigeons chewing bits of straw. people get paid to do this kind of research.



Yo Lindsay,

I brought up an accent/dialect related topic a short while ago....here's the link   http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=873    congrats on being nicely average :)

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Offline DrN

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #11 on: 02/07/2004 23:29:54 »
cheers for that, i hadn't seen it. i think it was in a newspaper, or maybe nature online. really should work on improving my memory.

interesting that it appears to be the same for a lot of animals. although I got the impression that we don't have language imprinted in us in the same way as bird song seems to be. kids that have grown up without ever being spoken to (sad but very unfortunately true) never seem to grasp language properly, in the same way that the later we leave it the less likely we'll ever be fluent in a second language.

so does that make us evolutionarily inferior to pigeons?
 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #12 on: 03/07/2004 04:02:27 »
I raised some sparrows once that fell from their nest.  They were just blobs of pink skin with their eyes shut when I got them.  But when they got old enough, they sang just like the other birds outside that were in the nests.  By then, I think I had imprinted, because I knew the sound of a hungry baby sparrow.
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #13 on: 03/07/2004 04:04:34 »
quote:
Originally posted by bezoar

I raised some sparrows once that fell from their nest.  They were just blobs of pink skin with their eyes shut when I got them.  But when they got old enough, they sang just like the other birds outside that were in the nests.  By then, I think I had imprinted, because I knew the sound of a hungry baby sparrow.



tweet tweet! lol!

Am very impressed you managed to raise it though!!! did it fly away? what did you feed it? did you go digging for worms and put them in your mouth?
 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #14 on: 03/07/2004 14:52:00 »
Actually, I went to the feed store and got some feed for young chicks.  I moistened it to a pasty consistency, and got a blob of it on a blunt stick, and stuck the mess down their throats every time they cheeped.  I was working the night shift then.  The little critters slept all night, but kept me up all day long feeding them.  Kept a little female and let the others go.  I had to keep her.  She fell in love with my boyfriend and flirted with him every time he came over.  Just couldn't bear to separate the two of them.
 

Offline qazibasit

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #15 on: 03/07/2004 15:55:26 »
that is what i already said that it is an inherited character.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #16 on: 03/07/2004 17:50:54 »
quote:
Originally posted by bezoar

I raised some sparrows once that fell from their nest.  They were just blobs of pink skin with their eyes shut when I got them.  But when they got old enough, they sang just like the other birds outside that were in the nests.  By then, I think I had imprinted, because I knew the sound of a hungry baby sparrow.



Nancy, do you offer the same servivce to us grups ?

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Offline Exodus

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #17 on: 04/07/2004 07:08:14 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

quote:
Originally posted by bezoar

I raised some sparrows once that fell from their nest.  They were just blobs of pink skin with their eyes shut when I got them.  But when they got old enough, they sang just like the other birds outside that were in the nests.  By then, I think I had imprinted, because I knew the sound of a hungry baby sparrow.



Nancy, do you offer the same servivce to us grups ?

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'



you really want to be force fed a pasty muck with a stick and then flirt with Nancy's boyfriend when he comes around?!?!?!;) lol!!!
« Last Edit: 04/07/2004 07:08:39 by Exodus »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #18 on: 04/07/2004 12:55:45 »
quote:
Originally posted by Exodus

quote:
Originally posted by neilep

quote:
Originally posted by bezoar

I raised some sparrows once that fell from their nest.  They were just blobs of pink skin with their eyes shut when I got them.  But when they got old enough, they sang just like the other birds outside that were in the nests.  By then, I think I had imprinted, because I knew the sound of a hungry baby sparrow.



Nancy, do you offer the same servivce to us grups ?

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'



you really want to be force fed a pasty muck with a stick and then flirt with Nancy's boyfriend when he comes around?!?!?!;) lol!!!



....well no, I suppose not !!..but the question is still valid...however, without getting too close to the edge I'd happily stick some special paste down...NO...I'll stop it there !!!!

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #19 on: 04/07/2004 22:07:08 »
Ooooooohhhh, you are sooooo bad.  Must be up late again, huh?  So translate for the American here -- what is a grup?
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #20 on: 04/07/2004 22:16:33 »
quote:
Originally posted by bezoar

Ooooooohhhh, you are sooooo bad.  Must be up late again, huh?  So translate for the American here -- what is a grup?



GRUPS = GRown UPs .......:D

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Offline Exodus

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #21 on: 05/07/2004 04:31:16 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

quote:
Originally posted by Exodus

quote:
Originally posted by neilep

quote:
Originally posted by bezoar

I raised some sparrows once that fell from their nest.  They were just blobs of pink skin with their eyes shut when I got them.  But when they got old enough, they sang just like the other birds outside that were in the nests.  By then, I think I had imprinted, because I knew the sound of a hungry baby sparrow.



Nancy, do you offer the same servivce to us grups ?

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'



you really want to be force fed a pasty muck with a stick and then flirt with Nancy's boyfriend when he comes around?!?!?!;) lol!!!



....well no, I suppose not !!..but the question is still valid...however, without getting too close to the edge I'd happily stick some special paste down...NO...I'll stop it there !!!!

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'



That really might be a good idea lol! we may get kids on here. lol
 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #22 on: 05/07/2004 20:20:13 »
I like that -- grups.  Think I'll start using it.  Who knows?  I might even learn to speak English.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #23 on: 05/07/2004 20:59:36 »
...actually, it's just a term that I use...it's not quintessentially English and I have to explain it to most people...but I'm glad you like it.

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Offline chris

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #24 on: 06/07/2004 08:20:31 »
On a related theme to birds knowing their songs when they are born, baby spiders (isolated at birth) can spin a perfect web without ever having seen one. I would love to know the genetic basis behind that.

Chris

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Re: Are birds born KNOWING the songs they sing?
« Reply #24 on: 06/07/2004 08:20:31 »

 

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