Sibley – Language of the Birds

One of the pleasures of bird watching is learning to identify different species by their songs. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. “It’s a great challenge to come out into a place like this and try to distinguish all the different bird sounds.”David Allen Sibley is the artist and author of Sibley’s Guide to Birds”Well the first step is just to notice them, just to pay attention and try to distinguish some of the different sounds. I compare it to learning a second language. The first step is just distinguishing the different sounds, and tuning in your ears so that you can actually hear the differences between some of them.””Well you can hear the, the robin that’s singing up here now – is a series of short warbled phrases, but they’re clear, clear notes with at times a sort of liquid quality – like a gurgling quality. That’s now the alarm call of the robin – that sharp note. The scarlet tanager song is robin like in that it’s, it’s a series of short phrases. But is has a burry rolled rough quality to it without any of the liquid or gurgling sounds of the robin. The same sort of challenge is describing the taste of a wine. You can’t put it into words, so you borrow these words that just sort of recall feelings, or what the sound implies in a way. There’s a vocabulary for describing bird songs.””That’s the Tanager singing now.” Our thanks to David Allen Sibley. If you’d like to hear about our new Pulse of the Planet CD, please visit our website at pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science for 200 years, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.music

Sibley - Language of the Birds

Correctly identifying bird sounds is like earning a second language.
Air Date:06/01/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

One of the pleasures of bird watching is learning to identify different species by their songs. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. "It's a great challenge to come out into a place like this and try to distinguish all the different bird sounds."David Allen Sibley is the artist and author of Sibley's Guide to Birds"Well the first step is just to notice them, just to pay attention and try to distinguish some of the different sounds. I compare it to learning a second language. The first step is just distinguishing the different sounds, and tuning in your ears so that you can actually hear the differences between some of them.""Well you can hear the, the robin that's singing up here now - is a series of short warbled phrases, but they're clear, clear notes with at times a sort of liquid quality - like a gurgling quality. That's now the alarm call of the robin - that sharp note. The scarlet tanager song is robin like in that it's, it's a series of short phrases. But is has a burry rolled rough quality to it without any of the liquid or gurgling sounds of the robin. The same sort of challenge is describing the taste of a wine. You can't put it into words, so you borrow these words that just sort of recall feelings, or what the sound implies in a way. There's a vocabulary for describing bird songs.""That's the Tanager singing now." Our thanks to David Allen Sibley. If you'd like to hear about our new Pulse of the Planet CD, please visit our website at pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science for 200 years, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.music