Nature's Music

Nature's Music

The Science of Birdsong

1st Edition - October 5, 2004

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  • Authors: Peter Marler, Hans Slabbekoorn
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080473550
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124730700

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The voices of birds have always been a source of fascination. Nature’s Music brings together some of the world’s experts on birdsong, to review the advances that have taken place in our understanding of how and why birds sing, what their songs and calls mean, and how they have evolved. All contributors have strived to speak, not only to fellow experts, but also to the general reader. The result is a book of readable science, richly illustrated with recordings and pictures of the sounds of birds. Bird song is much more than just one behaviour of a single, particular group of organisms. It is a model for the study of a wide variety of animal behaviour systems, ecological, evolutionary and neurobiological. Bird song sits at the intersection of breeding, social and cognitive behaviour and ecology. As such interest in this book will extend far beyond the purely ornithological - to behavioural ecologists psychologists and neurobiologists of all kinds.

Key Features

* The scoop on local dialects in birdsong
* How birdsongs are used for fighting and flirting
* The writers are all international authorities on their subject


Students and researchers in behavioral and evolutionary biology, ornithology, neuroscience and neuroethology

Table of Contents

  • Science and birdsong: the good old days
    Vocal fighting and flirting: the functions of birdsong
    Learning to sing
    The diversity and plasticity of birdsong
    Bird calls: a cornucopia for communication
    Singing in the wild: the ecology of birdsong
    Audition: can birds hear everything they sing?
    Brains and birdsong
    How birds sing and why it matters
    Birdsong and evolution
    Performance limits on birdsong
    Birdsong and conservation
    Grey parrots: learning and using speech
    Singing, socializing, and the music effect

Product details

  • No. of pages: 504
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2004
  • Published: October 5, 2004
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080473550
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124730700

About the Authors

Peter Marler

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, University of California Davis, U.S.A.

Hans Slabbekoorn

Affiliations and Expertise

The Institute of Biology, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Ratings and Reviews

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  • robin m. Thu Dec 28 2017

    excellent content

    excellent book, very valuable resource (5 stars). print quality not so great. (3 stars)