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Animal Communication-Birds

A basic generalization of what animal communication consists of in terms of sound and how it applies to birds.
by Mathew Bhavnani on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of Animal Communication-Birds

Animal Communication Birds Generalization of Animal Communication Bird Communication-Vocalization Other forms of Avian Communication Other methods... In Conclusion... Birds have the benefit of being able to fly; therefore, this can contribute to other forms of bird communication other than vocalization. Although birds cannot produce or process face visualizations like other animal species, they can still produce different forms of visualizations through the use of their feathers and some patterns; an example of this would be through the peacock species. They flash their feathers, which show a specific color or shape pattern, to communicate a sense of territory or other directives. Birds can also be used by humans to transmit messages from one area to another because of birds being able to take flight and carry those messages to others, whether the recipient is a few miles to a few thousand miles away. For example, soldiers in battle would communicate with their allies using birds as those soldiers have attached written messages to the feet of the bird. Although this type of communication does not involve any type of mechanics, it is still interesting to see how birds and humans have assisted each other and how it has evolved over the years. Songs and Songbirds Bird songs are another form of bird vocalization, very similar to calls but they have a more delicate tone as well as a wider variety of pitches to create a melody. Bird songs can only be initiated and communicated by songbirds, going back to the connection between interspecies and intraspecies formations. The songs still involve the syrinx but adding bodily and neurological components. The "learning pathway" is a route that describes how a bird's brain functions to create the idea of the melody while it is transmitted to the syrinx as it then produces the sound. Bodily functions such as testosterone and sexual reactions affect the message and tone of the song. An interesting connection between human communication and bird songs are how they vary from region to region, just like a language and its boundaries. Nature surrounding the animal can also affect the song and message, depending on the vegetation and the environment that surrounds the bird can be considered as a variable in terms of what the bird will be communicating. The learning of song dialects and the perfection of song crystallization can determine the fluency of a songbird, determining the boundaries between languages/species. Looking at some of the differences between bird calls and songs, what is interesting is how they all go back to a simple meaning; both communicate the exact same message about mating and feeding but transport that message in different methods. Bird Vocalization Examining the thousands of animal species that are associated with animal communication, birds are the animals that use it extensively; interesting enough, their main method is through vocalization and sounds. A fundamental aspect of bird vocalization are connected to the tools various kinds of birds own to produce a distinct sound. Using their beaks, their wings and their tails are just some of the ways they communicate. Not only do they use bodily functions to produce sound, but nature as well. For example, woodpeckers peck on barks of trees as a source of sound; most birds communicate through various pitched bird songs and chirps. The Mechanics to becoming "Pitch Perfect" Just like humans, birds use their voice as their primary communication tool. A series of chirps, songs, whistles, and squeaks are some examples of birds applying their vocalization techniques to subjects such as mating. How do they make those sounds? Birds have a specialized avian vocal instrument called the syrinx, located below the bronchus. The act of contracting their throat and abdomen muscles cause air molecules to vibrate as they move up the throat, through the syrinx and out into the open. Birds also have the ability to control the sound with greater detail. Two separate passageways/membranes are able to aid the species produce a variation of pitch levels. Whether it is through interspecies or intraspecies relations, the abilities birds have when communicating are very intriguing and contain the most interesting aspects of animal vocalization. Bird Communication in action What is Animal Communication? Animal communication is, simply put, the way various species of animals communicate with each other. As animals do not speak human languages, many of them have developed their own language and use their body to communicate this through intraspecies (same kind of animal) or interspecies (different kinds of animals) relationships. What are they saying? Just like humans, animals have to instill a way of life. A system of language is so important and crucial to sustain their existence. From bird calls to the way monkeys move, they are all communicating something to each other. It can be a wide range of signals; from mating calls to warning calls, animal communication is an important part of who they are and how they live. Animals communicate using many interesting tactics such as facial expressions and gestures. A very common method of communication which can also be seen to as a more universal way of getting information across is through vocalization. Many species of animals, such as birds, use vocalization as an important tool for a wide range of interactions. These methods of communication can be seen to be connected and interrelated with how humans communicate. How can Animals communicate with each other? The aspect of animal communication plays a large role in a wide variation of species. Although birds have a hard time with other forms of communication, vocalization is something they specialize in and are one of the main species to have a strong involvement in animal communication and animal linguistics. Noticing how bird communication can connect to human communication is intriguing because bird communication can be seen to have stemmed from human communication. A really fun fact about this relationship shows how humans can actually understand bird calls and their meanings but on a very personal level as it has to do with the state of mind and other psychological factors that human beings share with animals. This relationship and many others show the varying depths of how birds and animals communicate. In a linguistic sense, it is a very fascinating subject and given that there are so many species of birds that transmit information in different ways, it is amazing to see how many of these applications can be connected and interrelated to one another.
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