Tape-recorders allow us to record and analyze birds’ singing, but communicating with birds is more difficult
From time immemorial, people have listened to the birds singing, recognized birds by voices, have been able to guess their condition. Some people are able to successfully imitate bird’s singing. Only in the 50s of the last century, researchers managed to put the matter on a strictly scientific basis, when the tape equipment became available. Researchers started to record birds’ sound signals and to analyze their frequency and rhythmical peculiarities. B.M. Zvonov, specialist of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, has spent more than 30 years on this investigation. He analyzed the mechanism of creating alarm signals and breeding songs of multiple bird species and came to the conclusion that all signals were based on common principles, the knowledge of which allows to communicate with birds and to control their behavior.
Let us take fledgings, for example. They give sound signals so that the parents would not forget about them. Each species has individual frequency characteristics of this squeak. When fledgings are fed up and happy with life, their pipe is rhythmical. That signals for proper order. Once a baby bird gets hungry, it starts to signal much more frequently, this being a common pattern for all investigated bird species. The parents, when they hear a more frequent ‘yells’ of their baby, rush feeding and protecting it.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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