Poetic birdsong, precisely tuned

Nightingales are well known for their exceptional singing abilities. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence now found that nightingales can flexibly adjust the pitch of certain song parts over a wide range of frequencies to imitate competitors. This strategy is thought to increase their mating chances during the breeding season. Interestingly, the researchers could also observe this behavior in the birds’ wintering grounds in Africa, where they usually do not produce sophisticated song. These findings suggest that a robust neural circuitry allows nightingales to precisely adjust the pitch of their whistle songs to auditory stimuli in real time.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft