Bird Facts

Talking Alexandrine Parakeet
  As we all know, parrots and several other birds are excellent mimics. Indeed, many bird species can be taught to make human words and sounds. It turns out that this ability to mimic is genetic, and we share certain genes involved in vocalisation and learning with these birds. Over a decade ago it was […]

Birdsong, Genetics & Speech

Female Superb Fairy Wren
And What’s Your Name, Little One? We often wonder about the sounds of other creatures and what they mean. Do birds have unique identifiers that they use in their calls, or do they merely recognise the tone/timbre of each others’ tunes? What about their young – how do parents distinguish between their own […]

Do Birds Have Names for Each Other?

Adult Female Superb Fairy Wren
If clothes make the man, then feathers make the bird.   The word plumage refers to all the feathers of a bird collectively – i.e. the patterns as well as the colours. Colours of plumage vary vastly between different species and subspecies, but they can also vary enormously according to […]

Feathers Make the Bird

Birds on Wires
Have you ever looked at rows of electric wires and thought they looked like ledger lines on a music sheet? Jarbas Agnelli, a Brazilian advertising film director, producer and musician, saw a photograph in his newspaper of around 40 crows sitting on wires, and was immediately struck by its resemblance to staff lines. […]

Musical Wires

Black-headed nightingale-thrush
Birds- the Greatest Musicians on the Planet? The Dawn Chorus is one of the most joyful experiences of spring and summer, even when you’ve had a late night and want a lie-in. And where would farmers be without the sound of roosters crowing to herald daybreak? Musicians through the ages […]

Birds – Earth’s First Musicians