Piece image
Image by: Sibley Nature Center 

Learning to Sing

From: Marfa Public Radio
Series: Nature Notes
Length: 04:30

Learning to vocalize is a surprisingly unusual ability in the animal world. How do young songbirds master their musical talents? Read the full description.

Baby-mockingbird-small_small

Babbling, begging, eavesdropping, and cheating. Is this a child badly in need of some discipline, or simply a young bird learning to sing?

To hear the full audio, sign up for a free PRX account or log in.

Also in the Nature Notes series

Piece image

Medicinal Plants (04:24)
From: Marfa Public Radio

Do you know how to identify plants of the Solanaceae family with their five petals?
Piece image

Coping With The Heat (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

Heat and dryness are facts of existence in West Texas. Every living thing must either evade these conditions or adapt to them. Humans, through technology, attempt to create ...
Caption: A swallowtail butterfly on a pipevine plant., Credit: Photo from ljworld.com. Photo by Mike Yoder.

Pipevine Plant (04:31)
From: Marfa Public Radio

The Pipevine Plant and its importance in the West Texas ecosystem.
Piece image

Zone Tailed Hawks (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

Everyone is familiar with Turkey Vultures, those huge black birds that circle high in the sky, searching for road kill. The rare Zone-tailed Hawk often flies hidden among the ...
Caption: Cenizo puts on a show during the rainy season. , Credit: Cathryn Hoyt

The Fifth Season (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

In the Chihuahuan Desert region, we spend fall, winter, spring and summer dreaming of and talking about our fifth season—the rainy season. Local wags will tell you it starts ...
Piece image

Burrowing Owls (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

Not all owls hunt at night and nest in trees. Burrowing owls greet the sun from abandoned prairie dog dens. What else makes these tiny birds unique?
Piece image

Big Bend Gambusia (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

Big Bend National Park is home to many rare and endangered species, but the Big Bend gambusia lives particularly close to the edge of extinction. How has this fish hung on to ...
Piece image

Nighthawks (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

Some birds sing. Others twitter, tweet or trill. But the common nighthawk goes boom in the night. This noise isn’t all that sets nighthawks apart in the avian world. What ...
Piece image

Our Might Oaks (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

The 21 oak species in our region assume many forms and are survivors of the last Ice Age. Who are these tenacious trees? And what animals depend on them today?
Caption: Harvester ants carry food several times their size., Credit: Cathryn Hoyt

Harvester Ants (04:30)
From: Marfa Public Radio

You’ve seen their sprawling, barren mounds, like little moonscapes in your field or lawn. But what lies beneath harvester ants’ conspicuous mounds?

Piece Description

Babbling, begging, eavesdropping, and cheating. Is this a child badly in need of some discipline, or simply a young bird learning to sing?

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Big Sky (Reprise) Dan Gibson, Bill Brennan, Rob Piltch Country Retreat. Solitudes 2000 :00

Additional Credits

Host Dallas Baxter. Written by Cathryn Hoyt.

Related Website

http://www.marfapublicradio.org/nature-notes/learning-to-sing/