As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 29 August 2016

Genetic influence in juvenile songbird babblings

Familial differences in earliest vocal babblings of juvenile songbirds suggests possible genetic basis for variations

Date: August 18, 2016
Source: Hokkaido University

As human language and birdsong are both acquired through vocal practice, different patterns emerge among individuals. These distinctions play an important role in communication and identification. Until now, however, it was unclear how individual birds learned slightly different vocal patterns.

The research team uncovered variances in the earliest practice singing--known as "subsong"--of zebra finch juveniles, including different temporal patterns between individuals. Furthermore, these differences were found to be more pronounced among different families. Experiments also showed that differences persisted among the juvenile birds even when deafened.

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