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7 days ago by kcarruthers
The Voices of Birds and the Language of Belonging – Emergence Magazine
"As we listen and seek to connect, we should remember and honor this difference. At the same time, let us not allow otherness to bar the door to kinship, curiosity, and imagination. There is a bridge. That bridge is made from the gift of our attention. Sometimes attention is focused into science, but mostly it is an opening to the languages of birds in the everyday.

What do we hear in the bird voices of our homes? Every species has a sonic signature, and individuals within species have their own unique voices. In this diversity of acoustic expression are embedded many meanings.

First, the particularities of species, each with its own cadence and tempo. House wren. Bald eagle. Song sparrow. Raven. By noticing and naming, we take the first step into friendship and understanding, crossing the gulf between species. Sound is a particularly powerful connector because it travels through and around barriers, finding us and calling us out of inattention. We walk across town and notice our avian cousins. Kinship and community are no longer just ideas, but are lived, sensual relationships."

...

"With some attention and perhaps the help of a recording device, we can hear the individuality of birds around our homes. But understanding the meanings embedded in these sounds is harder. In the human realm, I can learn the singular voices of people speaking in a foreign tongue, but I’ll completely fail to understand what they say and mean. How much more difficult is the task with creatures separated from us by hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

Yet, attentive bird-listeners hear the edges of meaning. Individuality in bird sounds is not random or accidental; it reveals the personality of each bird. In the society of chickadees, some birds have open and exploratory personalities, others are more careful and precise. The rattle of kingfishers and the wood thrushes’ evening song take on new inflections when birds court and pair. At the nest, we hear information flowing in a stream of sound between mated birds. No two phoebe nestlings beg for food in the same way. When sparrow youngsters babble and practice their songs, they explore acoustic spaces in ways that parallel human speech: improvisational, repetitive, refined by listening to elders. In the trees at dusk, crows warble softly to themselves as they preen. A raven’s call is filled with mocking irony as the bird mimics for its companions the call of a sandhill crane. Parrots laugh, causing those around them to frolic and play. As robins gather on a lawn, a blue jay screams a red-shouldered hawk call, a deception that the bird repeats with great gusto when humans walk under its tree. These are not the dead clankings of machines, nor are they the mere utilitarian grunts of feeding or social tokens of sexual union. These sounds are intricate, layered, responsive, generative, and humorous.

Laboratory studies reveal that bird utterances are imbued with understanding, full of representation, organized by rules, powered by creativity, and shaped by culture and context. Bird sound-making has internal grammatical rules. Their brains learn and innovate. Birds hear and remember nuances of sound, connecting abstract acoustic patterns to the physicality of their ecological and social worlds. They listen to the voices of other species and understand what is meant. Social interaction with kin and neighbors molds the shape of individual sounds and the organization of these parts into a whole.

These scientific studies, valuable as they are in expanding our understanding, have queried bird language in only a handful of species, often with the goal of testing whether specific rules of human grammar also manifest in birds. Thus far, science alone is insufficient to the task of hearing birds. A few dozen experiments conducted by a handful of researchers will not open the ears of the human species to the voices of our cousins. Language-learning is for everyone.

When we understand the meanings of a sound made by a bird, nerves in two different brains touch and signal. The link between nerve cells is made from vibrating air, a connection as strong and real as the chemical links among nerves in a single brain. Bird sounds, then, are sonic neurotransmitters that leap across species boundaries.

When we understand the meanings of a sound made by a bird, nerves in two different brains touch and signal."
birds  sound  listening  multispecies  morethanhuman  2019  language  nature  davidhaskell  understanding  intelligence  biology  communication  wildlife  meaning  kinship 
7 days ago by robertogreco
Cornwall Good Seafood Guide
Cornwall Good Seafood Guide is a user-friendly website, here to help us all make well informed choices when choosing sustainable Cornish seafood.
shopping  charity  british  marine  coastal  wildlife  sustainable  fishing  guide  cooking  seafood  recipes  cornwall 
9 days ago by asaltydog
Sea Searcher Boat Trips
For the last 25 years Sea Searcher Boat Trips have been offering thousands of holiday makers sightseeing trips around Ramsgate's harbours, and more recently, wildlife watching and seal spotting trips.

It is a traditional fishing boat which offers some fantastic trips around the Kent coast including sea angling and boat chartering for film and television, safety boat and work boat.
travel  guide  sailing  boats  fishing  charter  coastal  wildlife  tours  ramsgate  kent 
10 days ago by asaltydog
Officials moved nearly 100 mountain goats from the Olympics last summer. How are they doing now? | The Seattle Times
More operations are planned for future summers. Goats that cannot be captured will eventually be shot. Park officials have aimed to eradicate the creatures for decades, arguing that mountain goats harm plant life, get too close to visitors, are not native to the peninsula and wouldn’t be there if humans hadn’t brought them nearly a century ago. A hiker was fatally gored by a mountain goat in 2010.

A helicopter crew snatched up 115 goats last year, according to a park count. Six goats tumbled over cliffs or were killed by darts during operations. Two died during transport. Three were euthanized because of suspected disease or behavioral problems. Six orphaned kids were taken into captivity.

Cougars preyed on several goats, according to the progress report. A bear might have gotten to another. One likely fell to its death on a steep embankment. Harris suspects others might have starved.

“In a naturally stable population, you would expect to see survival of adult females at 85-90%, and a little lower for males,” he said.

Still, “the survival rate you observed is within the bounds I would have guessed,” Harris said of the survival rate near 70%.
goats  olympicnationalpark  washington  conservation  helicopter  environment  wildlife  nature 
14 days ago by bwiese

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