birdsong


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

birdsong.

Song, call notes, and certain mechanical sounds constitute the language of birds. Song is produced in the syrinx, whose firm walls are derived from the rings of the trachea, and is modified by the larynx and tongue. The membranes of the syrinx are controlled by slender muscles; in the oscines, or song birds, there may be as many as eight pairs of these muscles, whereas other birds have four or fewer. The greater development permits intricate patternings of sound (rare outside the oscines) that express a wide range of reactions, from pleasure to distress. Recognizable by humans and other animals as well as by other birds, the various calls are classified as flight, feeding, nest, flock, aggressive, alarm, and territorial-defense calls. Song is usually confined to the male and is at its height during the breeding season. Experiments have shown that hormone secretion in the male is directly connected with his propensity to song as well as with his selecting a territory for courtship and breeding. Among the oscines are such superior singers as the southern mockingbird, the hermit and wood thrushes, the purple and house finches, the canyon wren, and the European skylark and nightingale. Natural mimicry is characteristic of the mimic thrushes, the jays and crows, and the starlings, while birds with imitative faculties developed in captivity are canaries, finches, parrots, ravens, crows, and mynas. There is evidence that songs are learned and that certain calls are inherited. Most birds have preferences regarding the place from which they sing, e.g., fence posts, treetops, thickets, the forest floor, or on the wing. Mechanical sounds include the drumming of the grouse, the tattooing of the woodpecker, and the clattering of the stork.

Bibliography

See E. A. Armstrong, A Study of Bird Song (2d. enl. ed. 1973); R. Jesllis, Bird Sounds and Their Meaning (1984).

Birdsong

 

the rhythmic repetition of a system of sounds characteristic of many birds. One of the most common forms of bio-orientation, birdsong is a special type of signaling and communication. It is characteristic of male passerines; however, in some species the females also sing. Birdsong has many biological functions: it may serve to summon the female during the mating period, it may warn off competitors, or it may inform a population of some biological situation (the appearance of an enemy). Many passerines borrow elements of song from other species. Such imitation expands communication among birds and complicates its forms.

References in periodicals archive ?
"The signs are all around us that something is not right - you only need to stop and listen to find that the beautiful birdsong that should be the background music to our life is absent.
The soothing birdsong soundtrack was created by BAFTA-winning ambient music producer Laurence Love Greed and the idea is backed by naturalist Kate Humble.
Birdsong said he brought the app to the Little Rock market a few weeks ago because Five Guys franchisee Laurie Lowe contacted Planet Fundraiser.
I very much hope that this finale will be a glorious one.'' n Birdsong is at King's Theatre, Edinburgh, May 8-12, 0131 529 6000, www.edtheatres.com/kings and at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, May 29-June 2, 0844 871 7647, www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-glasgow.
Guaranteed to pull at the heartstrings (remember to bring plenty of tissues), Birdsong's final UK tour pulls into The Lowry this week with a stellar cast including Tom Kay, Madeleine Knight and Isabelle Azaire.
Tickets for Birdsong are PS13.50 to PS31 from wyp.org.uk or 0113 2137700.
Birdsong is directed by Alastair Whatley with Charlotte Peters, designed by Victoria Spearing.
[USA], Jan 10 ( ANI ): Exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong in cities is beneficial for the mental wellbeing of people, a study suggests.
Sylvia Torti's Cages is a thought-provoking novel about the complexity of birdsong and how it parallels human communication, related with an ardent narrative voice and a studious tone.
Birdsong / Can Yr Adar brings this wildlife to the stage through a live orchestral fusing of soul-folk and jazz.
Birdsong managed to trip and plummet down between the apartment blocks, leaving him trapped five feet above the ground for more than three hours.
The Birdsong Initiative took place over a 24-week period between June and December of 2015.