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Birds don’t all sing the same song. They have dialects too



Birds don't all sing the same song. They have dialects too

He is not the real world Dr. Doolittle. He is an ecologist in Christchurch, New Zealand, who specializes in an unknown science: bird dialect.

While some birds are born knowing how to sing by default, many need to be taught how to sing by adults – just like humans. The birds can develop regional dialects, which means their song sounds a little different depending on where they live. Think of the Boston and Georgian accents, but for birds.

Just as speaking a local language can make humans more adaptable, speaking in a local bird dialect can increase the chances of birds to find a mate. And, even more horrifying, just as human dialects can sometimes disappear as the world goes global, bird dialects can be formed or disappear when cities grow.

The similarity between human language and bird song is not lost in Molles – or in fellow bird dialect experts.

“There are extraordinary parallels,” said American ornithologist Donald Kroodsma, author of “Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist: Your Guide to Listening.” “Culture, oral traditions – all the same.”

The first bird dialect expert

For centuries, bird song has inspired poets and musicians, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists began to pay attention to bird dialects.

One of the pioneers in the field is a British-born behaviorist named Peter Marler, Who became interested in the subject when he paid attention to it chaffinches in England it sounds different valley to valley.
At first, he copied bird song by hand, according to his profile in the Rockefeller University publication. Then, he used a sonagram, which Kroodsma described on his website as “a musical score for birdsong”. (“You really need to see these songs to believe it, our eyes are much better than our ears,” Kroodsma said.)

These native New Zealand birds have regional dialects

Source: Laura Molles | is owned by HERE

In the 60s and 70s, scientists put baby birds into a sound isolation room to see if they could sing their songs, according to bird expert David Luther.

The scientists found that some birds – who study their songs – could not sing at all. “They just continue like baby babble all their lives,” he said. The birds are known as “true singing birds”. In other birds, singing is innate. “When they grow up, they can only sing the perfect song without problems.”

When birds imitate adults, scientists find, they sometimes make mistakes. The error was then copied by another bird, and a local dialect flourished. That means that dialects can only exist in true singing birds because they have “learned oral traditions,” Kroodsma said.

Dialects can also be made when birds adapt to the local environment, says American ornithologist Elizabeth Derryberry. Birds that can be heard better can find a better partner, which means their song is more likely to be passed down from generation to generation.

This is related to the idea developed by Bernie Krause, founder of soundscape ecology, that animals make sounds in different tones so they can all be heard.

Some dialects change quickly – even in the breeding season. Other birds hold on to their dialect for decades. When Luther examined the San Francisco dialect of a white crowned sparrow – a common bird in North America – he discovered that some dialects have not changed at all in 40 years.

Dialect and dating (in birds)

For something that is often the result of copying errors, dialects can be very useful.

According to Molles, birds communicate for two reasons: Either they try to evict their neighbors, or they try to attract the attention of females. “Unfortunately, nothing is poetic,” he quipped.

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When it comes to defending the territory of other birds of the same species that are not local to the area, knowing the local dialect allows for more complex interactions. Copying a song note is considered aggressive for birds, so having a wider repertoire means that birds can convey their intentions without increasing interaction into fighting.

Knowing the local dialect is also useful for finding a romantic partner.

In many species, the males sing. According to Molles, females tend to prefer a familiar dialect – this shows that male birds know the local area, own territory, and not just “someone who passes by it.” Some birds are bilingual, or even trilingual – maybe because they grow around different local dialects. When they mate, they will choose to sing local dialects wherever they choose to settle, Luther said.

But not having the right dialect is not an insurmountable barrier.

Kroodsma gives the example of a prairie commander in Massachusetts, where he lives, who has returned every year for the past few years. Although the bird has a very unusual song, it attracts females and raises babies every year.

“Someone might say, ‘Well, there’s a novelty effect, a man with a very different song and all women think it’s sexy,'” he said. “But that’s just a wild guess.”

This is something researchers think about in places like New Zealand, where threatened birds are sometimes reintroduced to new areas. The researchers want to ensure that if they reintroduce birds, they will reintegrate, even if they do not have the right dialect.

A Kokako - native to New Zealand - at the Tiritiri Matangi Wildlife Reserve.

In Molles’ experience, it tends to function if a group of birds is reintroduced simultaneously, so they have a fellow bird with a strange dialect.

He was involved in reintroducing Kokako – a native blue-gray bird with a call like a violin – to the New Zealand area hundreds of kilometers away from where they were born. At first, newcomers might multiply among themselves, he said. But in the future, they might integrate. Descendants of newcomers will likely start interbreeding with descendants of native populations who grow familiar with both local and new dialects.

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“The woman is not necessarily looking for someone who fits the song sung by her father,” Molles said. “He found a match that matched the area where he wanted to settle – he wasn’t just a strange bird that might not be his.”

How humans change bird dialects

When cities around the world are locked, a series of questions arise on Derryberry.

Over the years, birds began to sing in higher tones in cities to be heard because of low traffic and construction. What will happen to the birds when the city is quiet? If it’s calmer, will a new generation of birds sing in lower tones? And next year, when it comes time to breed, will they sound like city noise again?

He was still trying to answer these questions, but Kroodsma was skeptical that a brief period of silence could be long enough to have an impact on bird dialect.

“It’s sad to hear some of that and think, We will never hear it again.”Laura Molles

Even if the death of our coronavirus hasn’t changed the bird dialect this time, it’s good to think about how we form – and destroy – the bird dialect in general. Something as small as an electric cable can suffice to break up bird populations and lead to the creation of new dialects, Kroodsma said.

In New Zealand, the land of birds only native land mammals are bats“There will be a wider range of dialects before humans arrive and reduce bird habitat,” Molles said.

Molles remembers finding historical records from the Kokako natives who are now gone.

“Some of the songs on the tape are amazing – strange metal sounds that you would never expect were made by birds,” he said.

“It’s sad to hear some of that and think, We will never hear it again.”

Design and graphics by Jason Kwok and Natalie Leung. Developed by Marco Chacón.

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Portuguese TV project ‘O Último Lobo’ wins 2 awards in Spain



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“BUT SPi introduced [na Conecta, que decorreu entre terça-feira e hoje em Toledo,] two of his upcoming art projects, “Code 632” and “O Último Lobo”, the latter of which is one of the finalists of the “pitching” session and received the RTVE award, the event’s highest award, which means an agreement between the Spanish public broadcaster RTVE and the ACORDE award” , the Portuguese producer said in a statement released today.

The Last Lobo, an eight-episode co-production between SPi and Caracol Studios and written by Bruno Gascon, is “a crime drama that tells the story of Lobo, one of Europe’s biggest drug dealers.”

“Code 632”, a co-production of RTP and Globoplay, is a six-episode series based on the book “O Code 632” by José Rodrigues dos Santos.

Recording for this series will begin in July and will be split between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro. According to RTP, in a statement released this week, the book adaptation for the series is being handled by Pedro López and directed by Sergio Graciano.

“Based on authentic historical documents, Codex 632 focuses on a cryptic message found among the papers the old historian left behind in Rio de Janeiro before he died,” recalls RTP.

The cast included Portuguese and Brazilian actors and starred Paulo Pires and Deborah Secco.

SPi, part of the SP Televisão group, produced the Netflix series Gloria and co-produced Auga Seca for HBO Portugal, among others.

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Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (KTM) finished the first two free practices of the MotoGP Grand Prix in Assen in 16th place.

Oliveira finished the day with a time of 1.34.676 minutes, 1.402 seconds behind the best rider of the day, Italy’s Francesco Banagia (Ducati). Spaniard Aleix Espargaro (April) was second with 0.178 seconds and French champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) was third with 0.305 seconds.

After the first session in the rain, in which the rider from Almada was sixth fastest, the rain stopped before the start of the second session.

The riders started with intermediate tires, but as the track in Assen in the Netherlands, considered the “cathedral” of motorsport, dried up, they installed dry tires (slicks).

Under these conditions, Miguel Oliveira was losing ground in the table, ending the day in 16th place, despite an improvement of about nine seconds from the morning’s record, in rain, in which Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) was the fastest. , fifth in the afternoon.

On Saturday there will be two more free practices and qualifications.

The 10 fastest in the set of the first three sessions go directly to the second stage of qualification (Q2), and the remaining 14 “brawl” in Q1, resulting in the two fastest qualifying to the next stage.

Fabio Quartararo enters this 11th round of the season leading the championship with 172 points, while Miguel Oliveira is in 10th place with 64 points.

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Portuguese MNEs defend that Mercosur is a “natural partner” of the European Union at the moment – Observer



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This Thursday, Portugal’s foreign minister said that at a time when the European Union (EU) seeks to diversify suppliers and markets, MERCOSUR is a natural partner whose importance cannot be “underestimated”.

For Portugal, “the current delicate context makes us appreciate even more the mutual advantages of the Agreement between the EU and MERCOSUR,” João Gomes Cravinho said, without directly referring to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“At a time when the EU is seeking to diversify suppliers and markets in order to ensure greater strategic autonomy, MERCOSUR is a natural partner, whose importance we cannot underestimate“, the minister added at a conference entitled “Brazil and Portugal: perspectives for the future”, which takes place from Thursday to Friday at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) is a South American economic bloc created in 1991, whose founding members are Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.


But still, within the framework of the European Union, Joao Gomes Cravinho believed that EU strategic partnership with Brazil left ‘untapped’.

The Minister stressed that in the context of the EU, Portugal “always knew how to use its position in favor of strengthening relations with Brazil.”

Therefore, it was during the Portuguese presidency, in 2007, that a “strategic partnership with Brazil” was established, he stressed.

However, according to the head of Portuguese diplomacy, this is “a partnership that has clearly not been used for a variety of reasons and which still retains the ability to position Brazil as Europe’s great interlocutor for South America.”

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With regard to bilateral relations between the two countries, the minister emphasized that “in this context of global turmoil, the wisdom of the central characteristic common to the foreign policy of Brazil and Portugal, which is active participation in many multilateral structures, in recognition of the indispensability of multilateralism, international cooperation and global rules based order.

Portugal meets with Brazil in all areas of Portuguese foreign policy. We are Atlantic, we are Ibero-American and Portuguese-speaking,” he said.

In the Atlantic dimension, “Portugal and Brazil are united by an ocean, which we recognize as growing in importance in the context of new, complex and truly existential issues,” he said.

According to João Gomes Cravinho, “Some of these problems can be answered in the Atlantic Center, co-founded by Portugal and Brazil”, and “the other part of the huge ocean problems will be addressed in detail at the great Summit.” Oceans”, which will be held in Lisbon next week.

“In any of the areas, new prospects are opening up for Portuguese-Brazilian relations,” he stressed.

With regard to Ibero-America, the minister believes that Portugal and Brazil share “an enormous strategic space with the Castilian-speaking countries, where a joint Portuguese-Brazilian reflection is undoubtedly recommended on the potential to exploit opportunities and create synergies”.

“Value of CPLP [Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa] is gaining more and more recognition at the international level – and the evidence of this is the growing number of states that become associate observers” of the organization, he believes.

“Because they want to engage with us and reinforce the value of the linguistic, cultural and historical ties that unify lusophony and create a unique dynamic for relationships with third parties,” he stressed.

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But even at this level, he argued that there was an urgent need to find a “convergence of visions and desires” that “allows us to enhance” our “separate realities.”

The minister also mentioned that “despite the break caused by the pandemic”, Portugal has a “real air bridge” with Brazil, consisting of more than 74 weekly TAP flights, which is a cause and effect of “a dynamic that is being updated and reinvented”. relations between the two countries.

This dynamic, according to Gomes Cravinho, is also reflected in economic and commercial relations.

Thus, “Brazil is the first Latin American export market for Portuguese merchandise and is already the fourth largest merchandise export destination (outside the EU).

“However, the conviction remains that the potential is far from being realized, and that nostalgia for the future entails a vision of a different profile of our exchanges, a technological, creative profile that corresponds to global geo-economic transformations,” he defended. .

At this stage, João Gomes Cravinho also underlined the potential of the port of Sines, “whose strategic importance, which has long been noted, takes on new importance in the troubled times that we are going through.”

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