Songbird

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Passeri
Male superb lyrebird
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri

Songbirds are the main group of birds in the order Passeriformes. They are the suborder Passeri, sometimes called 'oscines'.

There are about 4000 species of songbird. Their syrinx (vocal organ) is able to produce varied and beautiful singing.[1] They are a very successful group of birds, in fact they are the dominant birds on Earth today.

It seems songbirds evolved 50 million years ago in the part of Gondwana which later became Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Antarctica. They then spread around the world.[2][3]

Song[change | change source]

Their song mainly territorial: it communicates the identity and whereabouts of an individual to other birds. It also signals sexual intentions. Female preference in some populations is be based on the extent of a male's song repertoire. The larger a male's repertoire, the more females a male individual attracts.[4]

Bird calls are also used for alarms and contact. They are especially important in birds that feed or migrate in flocks. While almost all living birds give calls of some sort, well-developed songs are only given by a few lines outside the songbirds.

Families[change | change source]

Corvida[change | change source]

Passerida[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. There are some exceptions, the crow family, for example.
  2. Barker F.K. et al 2004. Phylogeny and diversification of the largest avian radiation. PNAS 101(30): 11040-11045.
  3. Low T. 2014. Where song began: Australia's birds and how they changed the world. Penguin Australia.
  4. Byers, B.E. and D.E. Kroodsma 2008. Female mate choice and songbird song repertoires. The Association for the Study of Animal Behavior 77: 13-22.