About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Question of the week: How do birds learn to sing?

Birdsong is an important tool for communication among birds. Songs can announce certain territories, attract mates, or create a social bond. A bird call can alert others to danger, tell about a good food spot, ask for food, or keep in contact with the group.

Like humans, most birds are vocal learners. They inherit a basic unstructured song but within six weeks of listening to parent birds, learn their own distinctive song. While learning, they may try several variations.

Most birds raised in captivity that never hear the songs of their parents learn a different song with some inherited components.

National Wildlife Federation has a complete article on bird song and Nova Science Now has a short video on how birds learn to speak.

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