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kramadas

ATTN: Shadygrove & cookiemonster

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No wonder chicks dig musicians, DJ's etc....just for you guys!

:D :D :D

:tongue:

http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/10/17/birdsongs/index.html

Birds woo mates with songs of love

By Marsha Walton

CNN Sci-Tech

Monday, October 21, 2002 Posted: 1:48 PM EDT (1748 GMT)

A male bird's song has a double message. It aims to woo a female, while warning other males to take a hike.

(CNN) -- Try mixing "The Dating Game" with "Star Search" and "Gladiator."

Add some feathers. And put the girls in charge.

It's the no-nonsense, sometimes fight-to-the-death world of courtship in the bird kingdom.

When choosing a mate, certain species of female birds demand that male suitors perform -- musically.

"What's surprising is how well they have to sing, and how discerning the females are," said Steve Nowicki, behavioral neuro-biologist at Duke University. The females seem impressed only when the songs are pleasant, complex, and performed flawlessly.

"The thought is they're using the songs as a way to select which male to mate with," said Nowicki. "There are a lot of males in the population, and she can mate with one, maybe two or three of them, but she can't mate with all of them, so she has to make a choice."

Nowicki believes that the females are connecting good singing with good genes.

"A song that a male sings must say something about his quality, that better males must sing differently. What we think is it has to do with how well his brain is developed, because you need a good brain to learn how to sing well," said Nowicki.

Adult male sparrows might have 15 songs in their repertoires; marsh wrens can have hundreds. Some species have just one song, but the better they sing it, the more popular they are.

If a female bird is impressed with a male crooner, she usually shows her approval immediately and boldly.

"It's a little X-rated," says Nowicki, "because the female sticks her tail up in the air, quivers her wings, and makes a particular kind of sound" -- signs she's ready and eager to mate.

Pressure mounts

Males are under a lot of pressure. Not only are they trying to "get" the girl, they're trying make sure other males don't get the girl.

The competition can be fierce, sometimes even deadly. While the songs communicate "Pick me! Pick me!" to the females, at the same time the songs are sending the message "Keep out!" to other males. And when one male intrudes on the turf of another, he could pay with his life.

"It's interesting, we think of birds as being these wonderful, lovely little happy creatures out there, but those guys are very serious," said Nowicki. "They will fight to the death, they will kill each other."

But sometimes, the guys will use creativity instead of just brawn to show off.

"When two males are singing back and forth, we call that countersinging, sometimes they do remarkable things," said Nowicki. "They will match each other's song type; they'll time things precisely; I would argue that it's all a performance for females who are eavesdropping," he said.

How do the males gain their musical knowledge? The same way human babies do, by copying the adults they hear when they're young. Nowicki says young birds raised in captivity can come up with some very bizarre songs, in some cases not even sounding like a bird. Some species will mimic the sounds of cell phones, or even the warning sound that's emitted when a large truck is backing up.

Similar to people

Nowicki says there are a lot of parallels between birds and humans.

"The areas of the brain that are involved in learning and perception of song are analogous to some of the same areas of the brain involved in the learning and production of speech," said Nowicki.

Sexual selection is a powerful evolutionary force, which has led to all sorts of other dramatic displays among species. Peacocks strut their stuff and show off their elegant feathers; male bower birds build elaborate "bachelor pads" filled with decorations and trinkets. Nowicki says choosing a sexual partner is probably not just a judgment of the obvious (singing ability, pretty feathers, nice nest), but likely a judgment about what leads to those displays: good brains.

Nowicki's research is published in the September 22 edition of Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences.

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Originally posted by shadygroovedc

Yeah. I hear ya. One time I was spinning and Tini stuck her ass up in the air and started flapping her arms and started making weird noises. I thought that was just her dance move, but after reading that article... :D

You must have me mistaken with some other CP DJ whore. That sounds like something Vic or Nautilus would do :rolleyes:

I think that move is called "the vulture" Right cookiegirl? :D

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Originally posted by raver_mania

The females seem impressed only when the songs are pleasant, complex, and performed flawlessly.

. . .sounds about right.

tiny, the vulture isn't usually accompanied by weird noises, but it is a very adaptable move! :laugh: use it in whatever way you need to!

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Originally posted by cookiegirl

tiny, the vulture isn't usually accompanied by weird noises, but it is a very adaptable move! :laugh: use it in whatever way you need to!

Well I don't know how to do "the vulture" correctly that is why I never bust it out :D

I remember when I was at Space with Vic he asked me to show him and I was like "what? now? here?" HAHA! Wow, I'm sure someone will take that the wrong way....

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Originally posted by tinybutterfli

Well I don't know how to do "the vulture" correctly that is why I never bust it out :D

I remember when I was at Space with Vic he asked me to show him and I was like "what? now? here?" HAHA! Wow, I'm sure someone will take that the wrong way....

Oh, if you only knew how I took it. :eek:

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Originally posted by tinybutterfli

I remember when I was at Space with Vic he asked me to show him and I was like "what? now? here?" HAHA! Wow, I'm sure someone will take that the wrong way....

so did you guys do it right there and right then:confused: :sperm:

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