Song Fights | Science News



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Song Fights

When male birds go tune to tune

4:21pm, December 12, 2004

To make a basic point, let's stroll into an alternative universe where song sparrows sound a little unusual. It's spring, and a young male perched on top of a shrub is belting out, "The hills are alive with the sound of music. . . ." When he finishes, the older male who owns the territory sings the same verse. The youngster switches to "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. . . ." No, this isn't friendly homage to old musicals. It's war, and the youngster isn't doing well. In the next round, it abandons Broadway, does some quick rap tunes, and flees.

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