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BIRD BRAINS? Chickadees Understand Complex Sound Emotions at Distance

BIRD BRAINS? Chickadees Understand Complex Sound Emotions at Distance


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 12 July 2019

 

BIRD BRAINS

Black-Capped Chickadee
Black-Capped Chickadee, kriswaid, pixabay.
Black-Capped Chickadee, kriswaid, pixabay. Note the  beak on the bird in the image with the research notice below kind of looks like a Jackdaw (??), whatever it is, but not a Chickadee, not with that beak...

 

Complex Emotions Understood at Distance

Hear them roar: How humans and chickadees understand each other,
University of Alberta, July 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Duh
"The idea is that some species can understand other species' vocalizations."

"For instance, a songbird is able to understand the call of distress of a different type of songbird when they are in the presence of a predator, like an owl or a hawk. Or, for example, if your friend scared you and you screamed. Both of these are high-arousal vocalizations, and being able to understand what that sounds like in a different species can be very useful."

Science Proves
"Black-capped chickadees were also able to identify high arousal in other chickadees, humans, and giant pandas." Giant Pandas!? 

Yup
Spend More Time in the Woods…
"The scientists suspect that other vocal learners, or species that learn their vocalizations from parents and models in order to survive, have this ability as well."

"If humans and songbirds show an innate ability to understand the vocalizations of other species, would other vocal learners show this same propensity?"

 

Bottom Line

These particular birds, the Chickadees, like many others, will socialize, if you talk sweet to them...

But no, other, "vocal learners," would not express the same understanding of sound communication as does the Chickadee, which is a chill bird, who has a friendly character.
The Crows and Bluejays are just as, "sensitive," just as, "understanding," of tone and intent carried in communicated sounds as are the Chickadees, but both Jays and Crows have very different characters, and therefore very different ways of responding to sound stimuli than the mellower birds. Crow and Jay have a real, "Fuck You," attitude, while the Chickadees are just sweet.

I can chill out Chickadees & Mountain Chickens if I see them first, and have the chance to give them a bit of mellow cooing & clicking, to let them know I'm there, before they freak out... The Crows and Jays are like, "Fuck You, Man!" Ducks and Geese make Crow and Jay look friendly... 

I can talk some birds (the mellower ones) to sleep, or at least bits of eyes-closed bliss. And, it seems to me the birds can understand the sounds of pleasure and pain without having any visual clues, only the sounds. They know in which direction potential troubles lay, by the mere sound of it.

Birds are pretty freeking amazing, with all their various characters...

Birds are only one reason you should walk from Tahoe to Whitney. The rock, oh my god, the rocking geological wonderland...and then's there's the forest fringe, pushing up as far as it can into the high (and low!) altitude rock, pushing millions of saplings into widening the cracks in the rock...then there's the insects, and the mammals big and small, then the stars at night, dark enough we can actually see all eternity spinning around us, creating the dimensions of this wonderful reality burgeoning with life, and death, all around us.

That's why you should walk from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney... just to take the time and space to talk to the freeking birds.

 

 

Related Research

Voices of the Forests: Bird & Squirrel Information Networks

Bird Health: Constant Human Noise Driving Birds Crazy

 

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