Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pretending To Be A Bird

24.05.2004


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.


Adult birds sing during the nesting period to mark up their territory. B.M. Zvonov analyzed singing of two species – lanceolated warbler (Locustella lanceolata) and grasshopper warbler (Locustella naevia). These birds bear close resemblance with each other, besides they live side by side. In such cases, a song is nearly the sole opportunity to distinguish the species. The record analysis showed that breeding signals of both species are based on the same principle – the males use rhythmical succession of coupled syllables parted by a time gap. However, individual syllables in the breeding song of the grasshopper warbler are shorter than those of the lanceolated warbler, and the frequency of syllable succession is one and half times higher. These rhythmical peculiarities allow to determine the species the singer belongs to.

During the breeding period, some species have distinct territorial delimitation, and each male is flying over its territory and singing its species song, thus marking up the boundaries of its lot. To a human ear, all songs seem similar, however, each male sings an individual song, thanks to which it “pegs the lot”. As a rule, the above differences are reached due to peculiarities of rhythmical structure of singing, but not due to the frequency range. Along with that, each male manages to preserve rhythmical pattern specific for its species.

All principles “used” by the birds in their communications were also accepted by people. The most well-known example is decoys, with the help of which the hunters call to the birds. All decoys are based on the simple principle – they are to provide the required frequency range, and the hunter’s breath ensures the needed rhythmical pattern. However, the decoy use is the art to a large extend. The record analysis allows to translate rhythmical and frequency peculiarity of each song into digits and based on precise knowledge to build birds’ signals synthesizers. These synthesizers help to frighten away or to call to birds not only for hunting purposes, but also for counting, feeding or observation. However, interested persons can mention a number of other situations, when they would like to “talk” with birds. The equipment would even allow to pretend a quite definite bird or two birds and to carry on a lively dialogue between them.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lab-free infection test could eliminate guesswork for doctors
26.02.2020 | University of Southampton

nachricht MOF co-catalyst allows selectivity of branched aldehydes of up to 90%
26.02.2020 | National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) MARVEL

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Lights, camera, action... the super-fast world of droplet dynamics

26.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Lab-free infection test could eliminate guesswork for doctors

26.02.2020 | Life Sciences

Scientists develop algorithm for researching evolution of species with WGD

26.02.2020 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>