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Monday, May 8, 2017

Birdsong and Creativity: Songbirds Name Their Offspring!

      The vocal learning of songbirds is the subject of much ornithological research. Did you know songbirds name their offspring, who are called by that specific sound all their lives? (I wonder if they have middle names, for when they're in trouble. . .)




      Nearly half of bird species are songbirds. They learn songs from a mentor, like humans, and then practice the melodies.




      The baby songbirds learn "grammar and syntax" from these mentors, who are often, but not always, their parents. The songbirds' use of different tweets (the original, non-140-character kind) is more complex than the signals (or typings) of monkeys. 




       According to this bird-brained article, "New neurons grow in breeding and singing season and then die back to save energy. A signal of the dying cells stimulates the new cells."






       "Songbirds prefer singing in harmonic series similar to humans even though anatomically they could sing many other ways. They choose to sing in a particular key and with consonant intervals, octaves, fifths, and fourths like humans. Songs are used for mating and defending territory."




       The study of birdsong is a delicate balancing act. And the study of bird brains (especially songbirds vs. birds like chickens) compared to humans and monkeys is even more complicated.




       Songbirds have more interconnectedness and feedback loops comparable to the parts of the human brain, especially the striatum. Study of songbird chromosomes adds both to the complexity and understanding.



       Zebra finches are useful in understanding how birdsong phrases are learned and how they can be changed and analyzed.



        Of course, you can just listen and enjoy Birdsong, too. This recording was made at daybreak along the Mississippi River near Birdsong, Arkansas, population 41. Temporarily 42. . .




      Be glad and sing out if someone calls you a Songbird Brain! Tweet about it ;-). 
Steph




     And this goes right here. . .


"Ah" would be better. . .but close enough.

22 comments:

  1. If I adopted a male baby songbird I would name him Otis.

    LegoNotesThatHummingbirdsSeemSometimesToFlitUpAndDownLikeAnElevator

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    1. Not sure it's fair to call hummingbirds songbirds. I understand they hum because they don't know the words...

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    2. "Birdsong" is such a melodious name. I did not know about Otis, though, Lego.

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  2. Birds, songs, brains, and science. Who could ask for anything more? I will be re-blogging by link to Top of JC's Mind. I wish there was an easier way to do re-blogs between our platforms. Maybe there is and I just don't know enough to do it....

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  3. China is branching out into infrastructure propaganda bedtime stories. But if they and Kim Jong-Un don't like the winner of today's election in South Korea, it could be "Good Night Moon".

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    1. The propaganda stories could either put one to sleep or keep one up, eh?

      Good Night Moon is my son's favorite children's book.

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  4. Sheesh. Can you say H2Ogate, v. 2.0?

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    1. Richard Nixon would never have handed the keys to the White House to the Russians. He also knew to resign rather than put the country through an impeachment trial.

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    2. True. Weird to feel a bit of nostalgia for that time in American history. . .

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    3. I dunno, I thought it was kinda fun, especially when it became clear that the system was working and Nixon was going down. I know they say the same thing about banging your head against the wall, but it does feel good when it's over

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  5. A veryHappy Mothers Day to Steph, and to all the other mothers who frequent this wonderful blog.

    LegoWhoHasNeverMetAMomHeDidn'tLike

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    1. Thanks, Lego.

      Just finished some Mother's Day yoga poses:

      MAMASTE. . . ;-D

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  6. The Collector has been collected. Let me collect my thoughts. . .

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  7. Honoring the Antikythera Mechanism . I do duck on over from duckduckgo.com to google.com every now and then.

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  8. New post on "Angling Mathematics: Fishing For Complementary Angles" is now up.

    The snow held up PEOTS publication this week. Well, the snow and the beauty of Wellington Lake. .

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