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Eric Shackle Writes: Bird Song

Eric Shackle tunes in to bird song.

The warbling of a magpie is one of the sounds that remind Australians overseas of their native land. Brits probably feel much the same about the sweet songs of nightingales, skylarks, cuckoos, or even the mournful hoots of owls.

All over the world, birds sing to attract mates, to warn other birds of dangerous predators, or to imitate the songs of other birds.

In Australia the whipbird copies the sound of a whip being cracked (and that’s a supersonic sound), while the versatile lyrebird lives up to his name (liar bird) by imitating the laughter of a kookaburra. America has its cheerful woodpeckers (remember the hilarious Woody Woodpecker song?).

Kookaburra’s laugh:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc_-icFHwQo ;
Magpie’s song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ_pkvO5ia8

Woody Woodpecker’s song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dePQ9TIrmg4

Birds communicate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdsong_(disambiguation)


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