POOR GOLDFINCH—HAS HE A “HUMAN” IN HIS THROAT???? (or undigested worm?)

Back Yard Biology

“The woods are alive with the sound of birdsong” (to misquote another famous song), even on this dreary, rainy day.  However, although this little American Goldfinch opens his mouth widely and warbles his throat, no sound comes out.

xxx I don’t know whether he is just trying to warm up his vocal cords, or has some muscular problem, but there are no vocalizations.

Bird song involves a complex learning process.  Chicks must hear and imitate the singing parent, which is made more difficult because multiple species are singing at the same time and have to be “tuned out”.  That’s the input side of the process.  The output involves the actual mechanics of producing the sound through contractions of the syringeal muscles, which takes practice.

The throat area is moving back and forth, but no sweet song is produced. The throat area below his beak is moving back and forth, but no sweet song is produced.

The syrinx is located at the base of the trachea (unlike the…

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About Jonathan Caswell

Mr. Caswell has been composing poetry at least since High School. He has been on WORD PRESS for ten years and contributes to two other blogs beside this one. This blog has a Christian emphasis but all bloggers are welcome. Mr. Caswell chooses to---with permission--re[post material of interest

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