(Edited, and email addresses munged to avoid spam-harvesting)
From: Sion Arrowsmith (sion_a)
Subject: Re: Stupid Author Trick?
Date: 26 May 2000 11:50:41 +0100 (BST)
Paul Andinach wrote:I remember seeing a nature documentary once with a lyrebird in it, demonstrating the range of calls it had acquired; these included numerous bird calls, a collection of timber-industry related sounds (including an impression chainsaw impersonation),If that was the one that was part of the David Attenborough Life of Birds series ... I carefully kept my recording of that section, because it was so wonderful.and several different variations on "photograph being taken"."Now, a camera with motor wind." *ca-chunk* *WHIRRRRR*-- \S -- firstname.lastname@example.org.***.uk -- http://www.chaos.org.uk/~sion/ ___ | "Frankly I have no feelings towards penguins one way or the other" \X/ | -- Arthur C. Clarke her nu becomeþ se bera eadward ofdun hlæddre heafdes bæce bump bump bump
Paul Andinach writes:On Fri, 26 May 2000, Lucy Kemnitzer (ritaxis) wrote:Learned. My family calls in the cats at night with a particular whistle; the mockingbird who picked it up is, surprisingly, still alive.On Thu, 25 May 2000 22:07:21 -0400, PaulMmn wrote:I think the question was: Are mockingbirds true mimics, or are their calls predetermined?I've always wondered if the variety of songs a mockingbird sings is pre-programmed or learned.How could it be anything other than learned, when it's mimicry?
I suspect that they're true mimics. It makes more sense.
(Talk about evolution in action...)
From: White CrowI think the question was: Are mockingbirds true mimics, or are their calls predetermined?I don't know much about mockingbirds themselves, but I read that African Grey parrots are hard to study in the wild b/c their calls seem to be made up entirely of other birds' calls—no one knows what the "native" tongue for the Grey is, and thus can't quite track them.
Mine has picked up an astonishing amount of sounds, without any attempt on my part to teach him (I've had him about 4 years). His favorite trick for a long time was making a sound like the door being knocked on and yelling (in my voice or my husband's) "Seth, get the door!" which would send my son galloping down the stairs to open the front door.
He also does the phone well enough that I have to stop every time I hear the ring to see if it rings again at the right interval.
From: Zeborah (zeborahnz)
Lucy Kemnitzer (ritaxis) wrote:That nice fellow I married heard one do a lawn mower once.We had a budgie that would do the microwave. This annoyed my mother, who'd think, "Oh, my coffee must be done," came downstairs, checked the microwave and discovered no coffee in it at all. (It went plumb crazy when the vacuum cleaner was turned on...)