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BBC Radio podcast (Prof Tim Birkhead on bird promiscuity) (1 Viewer)

Jonno52

John (a bad birdwatcher)
Supporter
United Kingdom
I don't know if there's been anything on BF about this, but apparently not. It's an episode of Radio 4's The Life Scientific. The BBC blurb: "Professor Tim Birkhead talks to Jim Al Khalili about his 40 years of research on promiscuity in birds, his love of Skomer Island and its guillemots, and the extraordinary musical talent of the male bullfinch.

Tim Birkhead is an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist at the University of Sheffield. The primary focus of his research has been reproduction in birds. He pioneered the study of promiscuity or extra-pair mating in birds, and one of its evolutionary consequences - sperm competition".

The podcast is available (in the UK at least) here.

I haven't listened to all of it properly yet, despite it being only 30 mins, but it caused rather a stir among radio listeners, not just birders. This was because of a remarkable Bullfinch vocalisation. I attach a short extract which IMO is well worth a listen (hopefully there won't be copyright issues). Edit: sorry, the mp3 attachment isn't showing up. Go to about 18 mins [oops, that was in the original broadcast, in the podcast go to 30 mins] for the Bullfinch bit.
 
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Jonno52

John (a bad birdwatcher)
Supporter
United Kingdom
I'm glad you found it interesting, guys. And thanks for posting the extract, Torchepot. I really gave this the wrong title, it would have been better as "Listen to this amazing Bullfinch!" That would have drawn more attention. Never mind, I expect the word will get around one way or another.
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
It would have been fun to post the clip on the I.D. forum - then reveal the story later on.

I think there should be a captive breeding program to teach a generation of bullfinches some wicked tunes then release them back into the wild. Imagine a dawn chorus that included one whistling Beethoven's Ninth - that would liven things up a bit 8-P

Having listened to the whole podcast now (no problems downloading it in France by the way) I found the content very interesting - thanks John for posting it :t:

By the way on my version the bullfinch excerpt is at approx 30 mins.

Hopefully the song will go viral ;)
 

Jonno52

John (a bad birdwatcher)
Supporter
United Kingdom
It would have been fun to post the clip on the I.D. forum - then reveal the story later on.

I think there should be a captive breeding program to teach a generation of bullfinches some wicked tunes then release them back into the wild. Imagine a dawn chorus that included one whistling Beethoven's Ninth - that would liven things up a bit 8-P

Having listened to the whole podcast now (no problems downloading it in France by the way) I found the content very interesting - thanks John for posting it :t:

By the way on my version the bullfinch excerpt is at approx 30 mins.

Hopefully the song will go viral ;)
Thanks Torchepot, some nice ideas there! You're right about the Bullfinch being about 30 mins into the podcast. In fact I downloaded the original programme as broadcast, by slightly dodgy means, and it turns out the podcast is longer, which accounts for the discrepancy,
 
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