Bird Calls May Work Like Human Language

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Ducks appear to walk on water as they take off from one of the ponds. In Navarro County, the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area's wetlands have become a magnet for birds, having some of highest bird counts the Texas Parks and Wildlife has recorded away from the Texas coast. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Scientists say that birds may communicate closely to how humans do. According to The Christian Science Monitor, “In human language, the combination and order of words helps shape the meaning of a sentence. And bird calls may use similar structure.” And according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, “Compositional syntax, combining different words to communicate a compound meaning, was thought to be unique to human language. But Japanese great tits, particularly vocal songbirds, also use compositional syntax in their bird calls.” Birds may, in fact, use the rules of syntax to talk with each other. Birds naturally communicate with different sounds and the Japanese great tit in particular is using different sounds and combinations, just like humans do when we talk. So is our language unique? These birds may be a model to show the steps of evolution of human syntax.

About Rachel Reichelderfer

My name is Rachel Reichelderfer. I am a senior here at BHS. I am a cheerleader and a swimmer! Go Wildcats!

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