Do birds really know music?

@TheHorse (77688)
Walnut Creek, California
January 10, 2019 8:37pm CST
For some reason, when I play guitar, my friends' birds like to fly down and play with me. This picture is from 2001, when Ms Horse's parrotlet flew down and "helped" me play guitar. More recently, my friend's cockatiel would sing the Andy of Mayberry Song when I came over. But I read an article that suggested that even song birds don't really know music. It made me sad. The article suggested that birds always sing their songs in the same key, and that they don't understand that melodies are about relationships between notes, not the notes themselves. I want to believe that Sarah, the bird in this picture, was having a musical moment as she "played" guitar with me, and that Romeo, the cockatiel, was really singing. I am saddened that some research suggests that both were just doing what some psychologists call a "fixed action pattern," doing what birds do. Do you think song birds are real musicians?
21 people like this
24 responses
@noni1959 (3615)
• United States
11 Jan
I think some birds do know melodies. I had birds most my life and whenever I would play music I could see a change in them from "dancing" to closing their eyes enjoying. They would make noise like singing at times. Maybe I'm wishful thinking but it's how I feel.
4 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
That 's kind of how I feel. I want t believe that they're really "feeling" the music.
1 person likes this
@xander6464 (7888)
• Wapello, Iowa
11 Jan
I don't know much about birds but I really like The Byrds. They seem to know a thing or two about music.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
This is one of my favorite Byrds tunes. "Just relaxed and paying attention." That's where I want to be.
"5D (Fifth Dimension)" (Jim McGuinn) – 2:33 "Wild Mountain Thyme" (traditional, arranged Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke, David Crosby) – 2:30 "Mr...
1 person likes this
• Wapello, Iowa
11 Jan
@TheHorse I'd like to be there, too.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
@xander6464 It's possible.
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (49358)
11 Jan
@TheHorse I wish I could answer that. Maybe birds that can talk can learn to appreciate music and want to sing along with your guitar playing.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
Parrots seem to resonate with music, regardless of whether they are "true" musicians.
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (49358)
13 Jan
@TheHorse I agree with you on that.
@andriaperry (67134)
• Anniston, Alabama
11 Jan
Yes I do and do not bust my bubble by saying they aren`t.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
Damned science. I love hearing birds sing.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jan
I knew an African Gray who sang the theme song to COPS. Birds are very intelligent!
3 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
But was it always in the same key?
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
11 Jan
Well, they do like singing
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
I like the sounds of happy birds, regardless.
1 person likes this
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
11 Jan
@TheHorse Me too
@Shavkat (69491)
• Philippines
11 Jan
I think if they do chirping sound.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jan
Can you elaborate?
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (69491)
• Philippines
12 Jan
@TheHorse A chirping sound as if singing to us.
@Happy2BeMe (79317)
• Canada
11 Jan
I do believe that song birds are real musicians. I think they are wrong. Afterall they sing the most beautiful melodies.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
But do they know what they're doing? I do fin it interesting that some parrots can imitate songs and "learn" them.
1 person likes this
@Happy2BeMe (79317)
• Canada
11 Jan
@TheHorse Yes it is very interesting. They are very smart.
• Agra, India
11 Jan
Wow...this is the first time that I have seen anything like this. This is great
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
Do you have songbirds where you live?
1 person likes this
• Agra, India
11 Jan
@TheHorse no...we hardly have any birds at my place.
@sallypup (30661)
• Moses Lake, Washington
11 Jan
I love your photo. I had some interesting moments with a German Roller canary that will always make me wonder.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
Do tell! I want to believe that I have made music with birds.
1 person likes this
@sallypup (30661)
• Moses Lake, Washington
11 Jan
@TheHorse Not really music but an eerie connection. Right before the phone would ring- old fashioned phone cause this happened eons ago- Tabby bird would start to trill. He must have heard the phone before us?? Then the time I was about to have my daughter- my contractions started. Of course it was hell, total misery and of course getting stronger. Tabby trilled louder as the pain grew more intense, working right along with me. Totally amazing. Distracted and helped, actually. He had a gorgeous voice, worthy of the opera. He flew into our apartment building! The supervisor and me captured him and I ended up being his keeper. Expensive bird that appeared out of no where.
@JudyEv (147789)
• Bunbury, Australia
11 Jan
I'm not sure about this but whales in one area have different 'songs' to whales in another which still doesn't mean they actually 'know' music.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
I would love to learn the language of whales, like Dorie in Finding Nemo.
1 person likes this
@id_peace (8625)
• Singapore
11 Jan
I think that when they chipped, they are singing like a top class singer.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jan
Eh, I think they're just chirping.
@BloggerDi (1159)
• United States
11 Jan
I don't know much at all about bird behavior. I think they are quite intelligent though.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
I find parrots to be really smart.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (16325)
• Marion, Ohio
11 Jan
It would be nice if they do
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jan
I'd like to think that they know music in some way.
@dya80dya (8940)
• Romania
11 Jan
I don't know. Maybe they don't know music. We like to think that they do.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
I want to believe that they know music.
@rebelann (44581)
• El Paso, Texas
12 Jan
Research is always being debunked, hopefully the next string of researchers will debunk the notion that they don't know music .... I think they do.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (44581)
• El Paso, Texas
12 Jan
Oh how sad @TheHorse
@LadyDuck (195490)
• Switzerland
11 Jan
Some birds do, some don't. When I play outside, the black birds sings trying to follow the music.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jan
Black birds? Really?
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (195490)
• Switzerland
12 Jan
@TheHorse Yes, they are also great in trying to "imitate" sounds. There is one that arrives to fake the sound of my cell phone.
@WiseGhots (2972)
11 Jan
I guess so. Some sounds are just unique.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jan
I still enjoy the sounds of birds chirping or singing.
1 person likes this
@WiseGhots (2972)
11 Jan
@TheHorse The sounds they make are very perfect for humans to make.
@kayshope (1515)
• El Paso, Texas
12 Jan
I dont know if the can or not. But i can tell you something I have a big tree by my kitchen window. In the mornings here while Im doing the breakfast dishes.. i swear 2-3 birds are in that tree singing to me. i sometimes think its words coming out of their mouths.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jan
Sounds sweet! What are they telling you?
@fluffy69 (1093)
11 Jan
Yes. They do. They do a capella
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (77688)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jan
Heh. That they do.