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Songbird U.

Written by PETA | June 20, 2008

scienceblogs / CC

The 4,500-plus songbirds who become temporary inhabitants at Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wildlife centers will now be receiving free tuition and room and board. According to this BBC story, babies who are taken in for treatment need a chance to learn songs so that they can socialize with their peers once they are released. Because birds learn songs from their parents, growing up at a rehabilitation facility would mean no knowledge of birdsong—until now.

The solution is as simple as a CD recording of birdsong and a small boombox. The babies learn to mimic the songs that they hear in the center, which are real recordings from the wild—exactly what they’re supposed to be learning. Upon completed treatment and release (read: graduation from Songbird U.), they’re ready to go chat it up with friends and family outside the center, saying such cute things as “Food? Now?” and “Mate? Now?”

I always find it heartwarming to come across very elaborate efforts to care for some wild species, which, for some reason or another, ends up at rehabilitation centers. As contradictory as it may seem given the huge animal industries that exist today, rescue and rehabilitation efforts demonstrate just how much humans are capable of caring for animals—both as individuals and as species.

Posted by Sean Conner

Commenting is closed.
  • Maya, CVT says:

    Chris That sounds amazing. I just took a great intensive summer course about land trusts I beleive that private citizens wiil single handedly save land in the best way possible. Of course towns and states can do a good job too but it takes folks like you to have intimate knowledge of the great wildlife that lives on the property to really make a difference! Aren’t scarlet tanagers so cool?

  • Holly says:

    Christopher Your land and your colorful song birds sound wonderful and beautiful! Go Vegan and save up to 100 farm animals per year per person…

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    Tame Quail? What are you talking about you vile person? It’s wild habitat ergot wild quail. Go out and get some sun Crabby Patty. The point was I enjoy seeing the flourish of song birds on my land and I am proud to have played a small part though nature certainly did the lion’s share oh no a meat reference.

  • Carla says:

    Christopher that sounds awesome!! And the birds thankyou too!! BUT your intentions are not what Kelly posted right? I like to think not.

  • kelly says:

    Yes and then Dr Christopher Cochran does out with a gun and SHOOTS ALL THOSE TAME LITTLE QUAIL! as he has elaborated on before here About the least sporting kind of hunting that these people could ever hope to claim

  • Dog Walker says:

    Many songbirds also have lots of nuances in their dialects and must learn the local neighborhood version of their songs if they are going to be successful in the real world. Some add a lot of individual flourishes to their songsinvent new versions altogether and must mimic and track the idiosyncracies of their neighbors. So the CD songs aren’t “exactly what they are supposed to be learning” although it is certainly better than not having any model to learn from at all. These poor guys still face enormous obstacles when released into the wild in addition to adapting their songs to the local society. Rehab is great work to be sure but this is a tough way to start life for the birds no matter how much we try to do for them.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    When I bought my “farm” it was an expanse of acres 200 or soof fescue with very little biodiversity. I signed on with the local game and fish department for the purpose of restoring bobwhite quail Colinus virginianus habitat. Quail numbers are slowly rising but most impressive is the flourish of songbirds. I see birds that I haven’t seen for years. On some days between the goldfinchs indigo buntings scarlet tanagers western bluebirds and cardinals the birds out color the wild flowers. I am very happy with my results so far and also pleased that the game and fish department of my state has also started more research on nongame animals with songbird counts and the like.

  • Holly says:

    That is a good thing to teach the baby birds their own language. But also parent birds teach them who the predators are and how to get away from them where feeding and watering grounds are and much much more. Go Vegan…and have a wonderful day!