Friday, September 26, 2008

The purpose of bird song

A CNN report in 2000 mentioned that studies carried out by Cornell University scientists helped to explain the rationale for bird song. The conclusion was that the female of the species tends to choose the male with the most elaborate songs as such males will also tend to have bigger brains which are useful not only to learn songs but also other life skills. These are skills that the female will want its offspring to inherit.

The neurobiologists found that the larger brain structures of the birds with elaborate songs can be inherited. This is useful to know for those of us who breed songbirds. By choosing the males with the most elaborate songs that we find attractive and line-breeding them with suitable females, we will be able to improve the song of our birds. An example of what can be achieved in the area of breeding for song may be seen in the quality of song of the 3 different types of song canaries, the roller, waterslager and timbrado. The roller has a soft whispering song that can barely be heard across the room. The waterslager's song is wilder whilst the timbrado's song has a bell like ring to it.

For the full report, visit: