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Bird Song Notes

Natural Sciences Notes > Behavioural Neurobiology Notes

This is an extract of our Bird Song document, which we sell as part of our Behavioural Neurobiology Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Manchester students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Behavioural Neurobiology Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Bird Song There are 4000 species songbirds from the order Passeriformes, suborder oscines. Three species have been heavily studied, including the white-crowned sparrow, the zebra finch and the canary. Although they all sing, they all have different aspects to their songs, some are seasonal and some are not. Singing is mainly a male bird thing, and there are many reasons to sing

1. Looking for a mate

2. Individual identity

3. Recognise each other

4. Where the bird is physically located at the time

5. Where is the bird from

6. Territory established?

7. Willingness to breed

8. Potential as a predator Birdsong structure Notes continuous marks on a spectogram. Simple continuous narrow frequency or complex frequency and amplitude. Syllables two or more notes which can be clustered or fragmented. Phrases comprise one or more syllables. syntax which times the order in which the syllables appear (just like grammar). Birdsong is speciesspecific. First person to formalise this was Donald Borror who used spectograms to record birdsong, for example this one which is for the white-crowned sparrow. White-crowned sparrows also show different dialects, just like humans. They can also identify where the bird is from by the different ways the bird presents the song. The phrases and elements will change slightly. Bird songs can be incredibly complex and some can learn noises (like chainsaws) from their environment - for example the lyre bird and certain parrots. They can imitate other bird songs, around 20 species, even well enough to fool the owner of the song. Amazingly complex motor circuit in the brain.

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