Tonight, the Perpetual Notion Machine heads to nature. Bird songs come in all varieties. They’re melodic, harsh, intricate, diverse, and creative. Our guest, Lauren Riters, professor in integrative biology at UW-Madison, says most of the remarkable songs occur in the springtime during mating season. But some bird species like to congregate, or flock together, in the Fall that might indicate a kind of social behavior. And sometimes birds will have a simpler, softer vocal sound. Lauren speculates that this might be only for practicing songs that will have importance later, such as for mating. But it might also be to elicit a response from another bird. Lauren studies European starlings because of their unique and assorted songs. And she has found in her experiments that certain songs can produce an opioid endorphin that gives the birds a pretty darn good feeling!
If you would like to hear bird songs of all kinds of birds, check out this website Bird Note.
Also, for more information on birds, check out this website from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
The Cornell Lab website has a link to a webpage with links to many LIVE bird cams. Here is a direct link to that webpage: Bird Cams