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The songs of birds have inspired and impressed mankind for centuries. Some birds sing very elaborate songs and, in some species, the vocal repertoire is enhanced by copying sounds from other birds, other animals or even man-made sounds. Scientific studies have shown that many bird species are born with the patterns of their natural song 'wired' into their brains. But, songbirds and talking birds also have the ability to memorise and replicate other sounds. In a few species, this talent for plagiarism sometimes produces surprising results: birds that mimic other birds, farm animals, machines, or human speech. Such studies are yielding insights into language learning and brain biology in our own species. Among the recordings selected from the world's largest collection of nature sounds held at the British Library are recordings of wild birds accurately copying other species. These include a starling in Herefordshire sounding like an owl, a jackdaw and a chicken; a Marsh Warbler in Worcestershire one of the most accomplished 'pirates' of other birds' music; and a Shropshire Jay that neighs like a horse. As many pet owners will know, caged birds can be trained to appropriate all manner of sounds. The CD includes a Raven saying 'hello', a champion talking budgerigar, and unique recordings of Bullfinches tutored in Germany to whistle traditional folk tunes! More astonishing still are examples of untrained wild birds incorporating machine sounds into their vocal performances. One track stars a Blackbird in London that imitates a computer modem. The final recording is of the sawing, hammering and other construction sounds on a home in New Guinea, all performed by a Fawn-breasted Bowerbird.
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Book Description British Library, 2010. Audio CD. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110712305297