Do Birds Truly Make Music? – Creation Moments

Do Birds Truly Make Music? From Creation Moments

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:12

American Yellow Warbler (Setophaga aestiva) singing by J Fenton

American Yellow Warbler (Setophaga aestiva) singing by J Fenton

The Bible speaks of bird calls as songs, as most of us do. However, evolutionary theory has led some scientists to say that we are merely assigning human meanings to the calls of birds. They say that the bird calls have nothing to do with real music.

Ornithologists have known for some time that bird songs use the same musical scales as our music. Decades ago it was noted that some of Beethoven’s work could be heard from the European blackbird. The music was the same as the opening rondo of Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto in D, Opus 61.” Since these birds pass their songs from generation to generation, Beethoven could have gotten the lilting music from the forefathers of today’s European blackbird! The songs of some species, like the song sparrow, follow the form of a sonata, beginning with a strong theme, then the theme is musically played with, and for a finish, the original theme is then repeated. Mozart had a starling as a pet. Once, having heard Mozart play his “Piano Concerto in C Major,” the starling not only imitated it, but changed the sharps to flats! Mozart exclaimed, “That was beautiful!” When the starling died, Mozart held an elaborate funeral for it. Eight days later he wrote “A Musical Joke,” which contains the same elaborate structure found in starling song.

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) Flickr Francisco Montero

Do birds make true music, as the Bible says? Contrary to what some evolutionists say, Beethoven and Mozart certainly thought they did.

Prayer:
Lord, I thank You for the gift of music, and I await the music of heaven. Amen.
Notes:
Notes: Science News, 4/15/00, pp. 252-254, “Music without Borders.”
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Lee’s Seven Word Sunday – 5/28/17

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Pied Cormorant leading singing by Aussiebirder at https://aussiebirder.com/

THE TIME OF THE SINGING OF BIRDS

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“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV)

Pied Cormorant leading the singing, by Aussiebirder (Used with permission)

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More Daily Devotionals

[The bird is actually flying, Aussiebirder and I agree he looks like a choir director.]

Lee’s Seven Word Sunday – 10/9/16

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Birds Singing from BeliefNet

FOWLS OF THE HEAVEN HAVE THEIR HABITATION

 

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“By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.” (Psalms 104:12 KJV)

Birds Singing from BeliefNet

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More Daily Devotionals

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Birds of the Bible – Thrush Songs

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) ©USFWS

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) ©USFWS

Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Discovered a very nice YouTube Channel, and thought you might enjoy watching and listening to three Thrushes. They are from the Turdidae Family. The Channel belongs to Lang Elliott’s Nature Channel. These songs are blessings from their Creator who put songs in their heart for us to enjoy.

Thrushes are plump, soft-plumaged, small to medium-sized birds, inhabiting wooded areas, and often feed on the ground. The smallest thrush may be the forest rock thrush, at 21 g (0.74 oz) and 14.5 cm (5.7 in). However, the shortwings, which have ambiguous alliances with both thrushes and Old World flycatchers, can be even smaller. The lesser shortwing averages 12 cm (4.7 in). The largest thrush is the blue whistling thrush, at 178 g (6.3 oz) and 33 cm (13 in). The great thrush is similar in length, but less heavily built. Most species are grey or brown in colour, often with speckled underparts.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. (Psalms 28:7 NKJV)

They are insectivorous, but most species also eat worms, land snails, and fruit. Many species are permanently resident in warm climates, while others migrate to higher latitudes during summer, often over considerable distances.

I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalms 13:6 NKJV)

Thrushes build cup-shaped nests, sometimes lining them with mud. They lay two to five speckled eggs, sometimes laying two or more clutches per year. Both parents help in raising the young.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. (Psalms 28:7 NKJV)

The songs of some species, including members of the genera Catharus, Myadestes, Sialia and Turdus, are considered to be among the most beautiful in the avian world. (Wikipedia with editing)

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Wordless Birds

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Pied Butcherbird

Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) by Ian
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Pied Butcherbird ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 2/22/14

Birds of the week are usually chosen on the basis of appearance, photo quality or species interest, but here for a change is one whose real claim to fame is auditory. Not that Pied Butcherbirds don’t look quite dapper, even if the hooked bill suggests a predatory existence and the black hood has the connotation of the executioner, at least for the Spanish : Verdugo Gorjinegro, where verdugo means executioner or hangman, and gorjinegro you can guess. However, their real claim to fame is their beautiful singing which has a clarity and sense of purpose that I think is unequalled. When I first heard a Pied Butcherbird singing in Australia in western New South Wales in 1971, I was fascinated. To me it seemed like it was practising the theme from an oboe concerto, as it would keep carefully repeating the phrases, each time slightly differently.

The first edition of Graham Pizzey’s Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (1980-2000) has wonderful descriptions – I bought it after reading his description of Musk Duck, which starts “A decidedly strange duck.” – so I’ll quote him on the Pied Butcherbird: “Superb: slow flute-like piping, of clear high-pitched and low mellow notes, throughout day and moonlit nights, best in early morning; often given by two or more birds alternatively, higher-pitched notes of one contrasting with more mellow notes of others. … Also accomplished mimicry, as part of quieter sub-song.”

I can’t just leave you hanging after a description like that. Here is a YouTube link to a lovely video of a duet

and here is another to a Pied Butcherbird mimicking a variety of species

Listen to these and I’m sure you’ll agree that this is one of the most beautiful song birds in the world.

Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) by Ian

On the subject of mimicry, I had an email from Rose Bay in Sydney recounting a conversation that took place between a Grey Butcherbird and the correspondent, thank you Jeremy, who whistled in response, over several months. The bird remained hidden and unidentified in foliage until a couple of weeks ago when, during such a talk, he spotted the bird and the mystery was solved. I’ve accompanied a Pied Butcherbird here in Bluewater on the treble recorder. I checked their vocal range using a pitch analyser on sound recordings and found that the mellow notes were close to middle C (C4), while the top notes were around D6, two octaves above middle C; an impressive range.

Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) by Ian

And, yes, they do prey on small birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates and will even hunt in unison with Australian Hobbies. They get their name from their habit of wedging larger prey items in a fork in a tree (or clothes line) so that they can dismember it. If you think that sounds macabre, go and listen to Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique again, imagining the idée fixé played by a Pied Butcherbird, particular the rendering of it in the third movement on the oboe and by the clarinet in the fourth Marche au supplice. The latter appears briefly before the fall of the guillotine. I tried playing the first of the YouTube videos simulaneously with the third movement a short while ago and the result is, well, fantastic.

Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) by Ian

Anyway, back to family matters. Pied Butcherbirds have group territories similar to those of their cousins the Australian Magpies with usually one breeding pair. The female does all the hard work of building the nest and incubating the eggs while, the male, presumably, sings. The other members of the group, usually offspring from earlier broods, do help to feed the young.

I should, I suppose, mention the photos. The first three are of adult birds, the last two of brownish immature birds. At 32-36cm/12.5-14in in length the Pied Butcherbird is intermediate between the smaller Grey and Black-backed Butcherbirds and the larger Black Butcherbird. The Pied Butcherbird occurs through most of mainland Australia, but is absent from very arid regions, most of South Australia and Victoria, and southeastern New South Wales. Here in the northeast Queensland, they show a preference for watercourses.

PAS-Arta Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) by Ian 5

The bird of the week has been going out regularly, if not weekly, since late 2002. I have copies of almost all of them and I’ve decided to publish them as an electronic book under the umbrella “A Bird Photographer’s Diary”. At the moment, I’m progressing steadily through the second quarter of 2006, and I’m having great fun reliving all the experiences and places involved. The intention is to add photos of the various locations and habitats. I’ll keep you posted.

Greetings and sweet sounds,
Ian

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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland: iTunesGoogle Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:12 AMP)

Wow! What an amazing article about these birds and the videos only enhance it more. I especially like the them singing duet. Ian finds us the most interesting birds to see and hear. Thanks, Ian.

Check out Ian’s Butcherbirds in his Artamidae Family

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Artamidae – Woodswallows, butcherbirds and allies Family

Wordless Birds

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Rare Singing Bird Pistols

Woodstorks on top of tree at Circle B -7-22-11 by Lee

Woodstorks on top of tree at Circle B -7-22-11 by Lee

I received this link from a friend and thought I would share it with the blog. I was amazed at the intricacy of workmanship. Enjoy!

http://www.christies.com/features/singing-bird-pistols-en-1422-3.aspx

P. S. I am feeling somewhat better and appreciate those of you who have been praying for me.

I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. (Psalms 35:18 KJV)

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

(Felt good enough to go birdwatching yesterday.)
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