Finches' tweets knock humans off their perch

Bengal finch songs may use grammatical rules

source: New Scientist vol 211 no 2819, July 2 2011 p16

Bengal finch songs may have grammatical rules, according to Kentaro Abe from Kyoto University, japan. Wild finches respond to unfamiliar songs by singing themselves. Abe collaborated with Dai Watanabe to develop jumbled finch song remixes, and play them to captive finches. They first played unfamiliar songs until the captive finches were used to them. They then developed four jumbled versions. The birds only responded to one jumbled version. This may mean that it failed to respect the syntax of finch song.