How birds sing and why it matters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Songbirds have both an esthetic and a scientific impact on our lives. Birdsong adds beauty and vitality to our environment. The chapter is about how birdsong is produced. How do birds generate such a variety of sounds and what vocal gymnastics are required to produce them? The vocal system is the interface between the bird's brain and his song. Knowing how it functions, and coming to appreciate its limitations as well as its capabilities, is important in understanding vocal communication. Birdsong is the product of the carefully coordinated activity of many different muscles. Some of these are associated with the vocal organ but many belong to other muscle groups such as the respiratory system and the vocal tract. Together they convert nerve impulses from the brain into song. Less is known about the vocal mechanisms of non-songbirds, and they are mentioned only briefly to indicate the variety of avian vocal systems, and to provide a perspective from which to focus on the oscine songbirds.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNature's Music: The Science of Birdsong
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages272-295
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780124730700
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Fingerprint

Songbirds
Birds
animal communication
Muscle
Brain
songbirds
Music
Respiratory system
birds
brain
Gymnastics
Beauty
Muscles
muscles
aesthetics
Acoustic waves
action potentials
Esthetics
respiratory system
Respiratory System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Suthers, R. (2004). How birds sing and why it matters. In Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong (pp. 272-295). Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012473070-0/50012-8

How birds sing and why it matters. / Suthers, Roderick.

Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong. Elsevier Inc., 2004. p. 272-295.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Suthers, R 2004, How birds sing and why it matters. in Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong. Elsevier Inc., pp. 272-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012473070-0/50012-8
Suthers R. How birds sing and why it matters. In Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong. Elsevier Inc. 2004. p. 272-295 https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012473070-0/50012-8
Suthers, Roderick. / How birds sing and why it matters. Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong. Elsevier Inc., 2004. pp. 272-295
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