Super fast singers

9 July 2008 - Coen Elemans and his colleagues at the University of Utah at Salt Lake City discovered that songbirds can contract their muscles faster than any other vertebrate can. The vocal muscles of the European starling and zebra finch close 100 times faster than it takes for a human eye to blink. The muscles contract and relax within only 3 to 4 milliseconds. The fastest movement among humans is blinking, which takes approximately 400 milliseconds. Thus birds can sing at frequencies of up to 250 hertz and modulate the volume and frequency of their song faster than any it takes for any other vertebrate to contract a muscle. This allows them to change the various elements of their song 250 times per second.

Search and listen

Do so with the CDs listed under Recordings. These enable you to identify birdsongs anywhere and without having to go online. >>

Getting started

I recommend the Parakeet section to those of you who have lonely pets at home. Read more >>.