Learning from the birds | AspenTimes.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Learning from the birds

Nice to see that there has been some public mention of the recent philosophical discussion over chickadee songs (Singing a new song, Friday, June 6). Quite frankly, I think N. Thomas and R. Davis are off in their description of the chickadee notes. Perhaps this particular bird sings three notes from A-sharp to G-sharp to G. Not particularly impossible for a chickadee, but rather unusual.

Perhaps Thomas and Davis are referring to a Rocky Mountain black-capped chickadee when they mention a mountain chickadee, black-capped being poecile atricapillus, and Rocky Mountain being poecile atricapillus garrinus. We cannot know without further scientific intervention.

However, it should be noted that the black-capped chickadee is known to have at least 15 different calls. The individual notes are not particularly ingrained into the genus or species as a whole, but the poetic meter seems to be.



My guess is that the chickadees are not learning, but the humans are.

Tony Vagneur




Basalt


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


News

State issues Vail Resorts a notice of violation for 2021 fish kill

Vail Resorts has received notice of violation and a cease and desist order in the wake of a spill, which qualifies as a “discharge of pollutants,” last year from part of the Vail Mountain snowmaking system that ultimately resulted in a fish kill in Gore Creek.



See more