Could we communicate with Babbler Birds?
Human are unique from the animal kingdom for so many reasons, opposable thumbs being one of them. It is nothing new to know that birds are capable of mimicking speech, as seen in parrots and such. However recent studies by research on babbler birds in Australia have found that these particular birds can put together different sounds to create messages, just as we do.
Although, birds create sounds that essentially mean the same thing, the babbler bird strings together sounds with a specific meaning intended. The babbler bird is native to the Australian outback, with various different-colored crowns or different colors overall.
However the chestnut-crowned babbler is unique from others
This babbler bird is a cordial one and talks with new meaning in its speech by reordering the sounds in the calls it makes to reflect the new meaning. This complexity in the speech show that this bird does not sing by doing this. Usually, when birds ‘talk’ it is in song that does not differ in sounds too much and the meaning is never too different.
Sabrina Engesser, one of the researchers studying the bird, in a news release said, “In contrast to most songbirds, the chestnut-crowned babbler do not sing. Instead its extensive vocal repertoire is characterized by discrete calls made up of smaller acoustically distinct individual sounds.”
The findings about the babbler bird were published in the Public Library of Science Journal the other day with in-depth scientific detail about the behavior/speech phenomenon the babbler bird exhibits. A suggestion for this behavior is that it may be easier to rearrange the sounds the bird makes to create a new message or meaning instead creating a whole new sound or melody. A shortcut, so to speak.
Babble birds can differentiate the various sounds
Furthermore, the studies on the chestnut-crowned babbler bird show that the birds can tell the difference in the variety of sounds perfectly fine. Even chicks were observed to demonstrate the variations to convey feeding calls and the like. This rearrangement of sounds fascinating to observe outside the human species, and may help to understand how our own human speech evolved.