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birds and music

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Old Tuesday 5th June 2018, 08:37   #1
jape
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birds and music

i am often amused by birds' behaviour and we have recent reports of a catbird stalking a briefcase and a grouse following a guy around his property.

i know birds 'sing' but never considered them musical. yesterday i played some music quietly with the french door open and four blackbirds who usually scrap flew in one after the other, sat just a short distance away from each other on a fence by the door, cocked their heads and listened without even fussing at rivals or neighbours. they listened to an unusual for me jazz selection including a very cool eric clapton's layla with trumpet by wynston marsalis ... quite surreal!
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 03:42   #2
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I believe that blackbirds have a large vocal repertoire, so I wonder if they could be picking up bits to add to their own songs. I don't know if they add to songs by imitating other birds, but if so it could be one reason for listening!
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 11:45   #3
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Many birds are mimics and it is not just other birdsong. I remember well starlings in the seventies making "trim phone" noises from rooftops and there was (not substantiated by myself) reports of them also trying to imitate the ubiquitous Nokia Ringtone in the nineties.
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 12:24   #4
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I remember giving the Iron Maiden 'Powerslave' LP its first playing, at reasonable volume, with the bedroom window open, and as 'Two minutes to midnight' kicked in, a male Blackbird appeared on the window sill, cocked his head in the direction of the record player, then stood and listened until the end of side one of said LP. It was only when I got up to turn the record over that it flew off, thereby missing the masterpiece that is 'The rime of the ancient mariner'. Never understood that bit of behaviour, and it never happened with all the subsequent playings of the record.
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 12:52   #5
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This is well worth a listen if you haven't heard it before: Bullfinch mimicry.
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 13:56   #6
jape
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lol that bullfinch clip was interesting. i wonder if monogamous humans whistle better too? hopefully the blackbirds wont pick up clapton's voice. he can write and play but not sing very well. i shall try them on some opera next.
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