Why do birds sing so much in spring? - science made simple
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The exciting question now is how females apparently repeatedly lost their song in the course of evolution. Why did they stop singing in some lineages, but not in others? And did the pronounced brain sex differences arise each time the females lost their song?
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Does this mean that the exceptional adaptations for singing and vocal learning in the bird brain and the underlying neural and molecular networks can easily be switched off? Materials provided by Leiden University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Science News. Message to Darwin: Birdsong is not all about sexual selection The team studied the available literature on the song of female songbirds.
Story Source: Materials provided by Leiden University. Journal Reference : Karan J.
Odom, Michelle L. It is important for birds to defend their territories as this is where they will raise their chicks. Singing is an incredibly energetic activity, particularly for small birds.
Sometimes a bird singing may not be trying to attract a mate or defend territory, but is singing off some excess fat. Birds replenish their reserves by eating, but time spent eating is not time spent singing and attracting a mate, there has to be a balance.
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If a bird can sing loudly and for a long amount of time whilst also maintaining a healthy level of fat, then it shows that they are a fit and strong individual and therefore a good choice for a mate. This is the first opportunity of the day for birds to sing and attract a mate, there is little point singing at night as it would be difficult to find a mate in the dark! In cities you can hear birds singing at night as the street lighting confuses their internal clocks.
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The early bird not only catches the worm but is also likely to get a mate. The early risers are the first birds we hear, we can single out their songs and so can prospective mates. Once the neighbouring birds all wake up and begin to sing it is more difficult to tell the songs apart and the individuals get lost in the chorus of bird song. Different species of birds join in this dawn chorus, they are all trying to compete to be the loudest and attract a mate of their species, so no-one gives up until they run out of energy.