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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

The Marvelous Abilities of Birds, Part 2 of 2

2020-02-28
Language:Dutch

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Today, we will share with you about the bird species’ vocalizations, which include both calls and songs. Generally, our calls are brief and serve as alarms or to keep a flock together. Our songs are longer and more complex and may serve as signals of courtship. The songs are also more melodious. Both chicks and human infants build sound templates in their brains by listening to their parents’ voices. Then they start to strengthen their vocal muscles by making nonsensical sounds. In the last stage, young birds will practice the same tune thousands of times and compare it with the template they memorized until they achieve a perfect match. Our vocalizations are made possible by a voice organ, unlike any other. The organ that birds use to vocalize is called a syrinx, and it is lower down, just before the windpipe enters the lungs. The syrinx has two sides, which our most-gifted singers can use to simultaneously produce high-frequency and low-frequency sounds, plus at different tempos and volumes. For us birds, the better we can vocalize, the more likely it is that we will have fulfilling lives.
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