Birds have been singing since the dawn of time, but do they make all that noise simply to entertain us? Not exactly. The truth is that birds sing for a variety of reasons.
1. Courtship and love
One main reason birds sing is for courtship. Male birds will often sing complex and intricate songs to attract a mate.
The complexity of a song can indicate health and age since older birds have more time to learn new tones and tunes, and the amount of time a male spends singing demonstrates his endurance!
2. Claiming and defending territory
A loud, complex song advertises to nearby birds that the territory is already inhabited by a healthy, active male.
Any bird that wants to challenge him for his territory can judge their chances of success by interpreting the strength and complexity of his song.
Another reason birds sing is to communicate with their flock. Birds will use different songs and call to warn of danger or alert others to potential food sources. These vocalizations can also help to maintain social bonds within a flock.
Perhaps, this is how birds practice their form of public relations and advertising!
4. Release stress
Singing can be a way for birds to release stress and tension. Similar to how humans might sing when they’re feeling happy or sad, birds may use their songs to express their emotions.
Birds also sing for pleasure, as singing activates the same brain regions that are associated with reward and motivation in humans. Singing may also help birds cope with boredom, or express their emotions.
Some birds even sing in their sleep!