The Only Time Smoking Is Magnificent

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Getty images

No offense but I abhor cigarettes. We all know the health hazards associated with smoking and I have never looked at the act with a positive view.

But the other day I read something super captivating. And that involves our feathery friends – birds – and a very intelligent cause.  Continue reading “The Only Time Smoking Is Magnificent”

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Sweet, Honey!

One of the reasons Hagrid bought Harry Potter the owl Hedwig as a pet, over other pet choices, was the adeptness of the creature in delivering letters: “I’ll get yer an owl. All the kids want owls, they’re dead useful, carry yer mail an’ everythin’.” (Nostalgic, eh?)

Adapted from Uncyclopedia

The previous century saw birds, such as homing pigeons, successfully deliver letters during war and peace times. Plightful flights by homing pigeons during World Wars I and II helped save lives and relieve dire circumstances. In the 70s and 80s, English and French hospitals relied on pigeon post for transporting laboratory specimens.

Bird-human relationships date to ancient times. Few bonds last such a long time and yet, even today, this fascinating and complex relationship exists. Whereas the above instances involved tamed birds, wild birds are the heroes of the story below.

Continue reading “Sweet, Honey!”

Vocal Learning Behavior in Songbirds (And how this relates to humans)

Masters of songs, and inspiring the works of the literati and artists of the past as well as the present, songbirds are an intriguing species. Their mellifluous string of songs is what fascinated renowned poets such as Wordsworth, Keats, and Shelley, and painters such as Imru Al Qays, Ren Yi, and George Baselitz to place the magnificent songbird into their works.

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A pair of songbirds perched on a branch amidst flowers. Adapted from Youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIL-rb2l5S1)

This blog post aims to briefly shed light on the vocal learning behavior in songbirds, with a slight emphasis on the importance of the neurotransmitter dopamine, in vocal processing.

More than four thousand species of songbirds, almost fifty percent of the bird species, entertain human ears around the world with their unique melodious songs (Innovateus, n.d). They include Nightingales, Mockbirds, Musk Duck, Bengalese finches, American robins, Eastern bluebirds, Northern cardinals, to name but a few. Songbirds inhabit a diverse range of areas, encompassing open fields, woodlands, and other terrestrial habitats, as well as vegetated wetlands and shores.  Continue reading “Vocal Learning Behavior in Songbirds (And how this relates to humans)”

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