Posted by: atowhee | December 16, 2021


It seems likely that much of the music performed, heard, remembered by our species had its earliest origins in bird song that surrounded our ancestors. Flute or Wood Thrush? Wooden drum or grouse in the forest? The trumpet that imitates bugling cranes. Harpsichord doing a Nightingale.

And now we know that social birds are especially adept at vocal communications. When a crow or jay sounds off in our garden, every other bird understands that announcement. Crows, for example, recognize family and friends by individual voice. So do many colonial nesting seabirds–locating their wandering nestling by voice.

This morning I heard a pair of angry crows. It was perhaps the mated couple that are around our garden and after the peanuts regularly. They came through the front garden conifers, harrying a Cooper’s Hawk. The accipiter landed in a neighbor’s bare birch, but the crows took the top of the tree and continued to yell. Finally, the hawk gave up and fled the scene, his cover blown for two hundred yards in all directions.

Recent research reveals when our fellow creatures first began making their own noises–click here. In those primordial seas the algae and the protozoans would have been silent, the waves and the wind were the sound of those times.

In Australia a recording of dozens of native bird songs has become a sales sensation–click here.

Research shows that a significant fraction of Aussie species is threatened with extinction–click here. Not too surprising as the Australian government and economy both profit from seeling natural resources to China and other nations.

It is quite likely that bird song began on Australia and it certainly finds some of its best practitioners there today. Interested? Click here for info on brilliant book about Aussie bird song.

Here are some Aussie birds–images shared by Peter Enticknap:

To read a full blog about Australian birds, click here. The country does have a large proportion of endemics, over 45%!

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