Monday, June 16, 2008

Orphan birds learn to sing from CDs

Baby birds being cared for in RSPCA centers are being taught to sing using CD recordings of the dawn chorus. The scheme follows a study carried out by the animal charity, which showed it could help birds reared in captivity before they are released into the wild. The study found it helps them become good singers which in turn will help them survive when they are set free. As a result CD recordings are being played twice a day to the hundreds of fledglings at RSPCA wildlife centers.
Dr Andrew Kelly, director of Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre & Cattery in Nantwich, Cheshire, said the study showed most bird species benefitted from being played birdsong. "The ability to sing is extremely important to the males of most bird species because it is vital for them to form and then defend their own territory and find a mate," he said. "Female birds in many species choose a partner based on the way they sing." "Birds learn to sing from their parents so being reared in captivity can mean that they don't know how to sing properly."

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