Why Do Birds Sing?
A few weeks ago I wrote that in my attempt to isolate myself from negativity, I stopped reading newspapers. However, my wife Elfa still does, and she recently showed me an article which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on November 26, 2020 written by Nora Mishanec titled, “With less need to yell, birds’ singing is best in decades”. It describes the experience of ornithologist Jennifer Phillips, who “was astonished by hearing that the birds sang more softly in the relative quiet of the pandemic-stricken city. They began using a lower register — a more seductive trill — that hadn’t been recorded locally since the 1950s.”
This might be exciting news, but I wanted to find out why birds sing. Online, I found ten articles that answers this question. In the website “The Conversation”, I learned that birds spend so much time and energy singing for “two main purposes, and they are connected. First, male birds sing to mark territories. The second purpose of singing is to attract a mate for nesting. Female birds often choose their mates based on some blend of visual and vocal cues. Even male birds with beautiful breeding-season plumage can have trouble finding mates if their songs don’t measure up.” We recently watched a documentary on Netflix titled, “Dancing with Birds”. To attract mates, not only do birds sing, but they also dance.
Birds’ singing sounds are as natural in the natural world; however, why do humans sing? I googled the two questions. Surprisingly, there were ten websites (the same number as for birds) that listed the reasons. I liked one titled, “5 Reasons Why People Who Sing Are Happier, Healthier And Live Longer (Regardless Of How Well They Sing)”. The most appealing reason for me was, “They will live longer” and “They have better posture and look younger”. So if I am planning to live a long and happy life, I should consider learning how to sing. Unfortunately, I do not have a good ear. Oh well, one cannot be good at everything.