Journal Article (Journal Article)

Have your ever felt as happy as a lark, feathered your nest or taken someone under your wing? As we watch birds, we cannot help but be struck by their uncannily familiar behaviors - singing, nest building, caring for their young - to name just a few. Songbirds - the oscine suborder of perching birds that constitute roughly half (∼4,000) of all known avian species - are noted for the songs that males and sometimes both sexes in this group sing to court mates and defend territory from rivals. Birdsongs contain several to many acoustically distinct syllables, typically organized into a stereotyped phrase, and span the same audio bandwidth that we exploit for speech and music, making them easy for us to hear and appreciate. Consequently, eavesdropping humans long ago detected the most striking parallel between songbirds and humans: juvenile songbirds learn to sing in a manner similar to a child learning to speak.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mooney, R

Published Date

  • October 24, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 20

Start / End Page

  • R1090 - R1094

PubMed ID

  • 36283371

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0445

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cub.2022.07.006


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England