Animal World


How do birds learn to sing the distinctive melody of their respective species?

The ability to learn the proper song appears to be influenced by both heredity and experience. Scientists have speculated that a bird is genetically programmed with the ability to recognize the song of its own species and with the tendency to learn its own song. As a bird begins to sing, it goes through a stage of practice (which closely resembles the babbling of human infants) through which it perfects the notes and structure of its distinctive song. In order to produce a perfect imitation, the bird must apparently hear the song from an adult during its first months of life.


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