Halfway through September, I think I'll to the point where we're changing the "What's been updated" chart below and "what still needs to be updated"... Yes, that's a big milestone in my 150+ product library :)
At the end of August, I re-released Songbird ReMix Yucatan whose update almost doubled the amount of birds found in the set. Mid-September, Cool and Unusual Birds v2 was re-released and Amazon (also with almost double the birds will be released around the end of September.
What's on tap next:
Hummingbirds v1 and v2.
from Audubon Science
Listen to the fluted chorus of a Wood Thrush, a beautiful song known to inspire artists and enliven eastern forests each summer. Now hear the gruff squawk of an American Crow.
Which is the songbird? If you said both, take a bow.
“Something can be a songbird and not be an impressive singer,” says Audubon field editor Kenn Kaufman. So, if singing ability doesn’t make a songbird a songbird, then what does? That question is actually a lot trickier to answer than it might seem.
The general public might throw the term around loosely, but for scientists, “songbird” has a more detailed meaning: It refers to a specific suborder of birds. All songbirds are perching birds, an order called passerines that share a distinct toe arrangement that helps them grasp branches. Passerines are separated into three suborders, the largest of which is Passeri. Birds in the Passeri suborder are called oscines, or songbirds. The suborder includes more than 4,000 species that range from the compact Golden-crowned Kinglet to the much larger Common Raven.
Despite their variety in size and musical talent, all songbirds do have something in common: precise control of a highly specialized vocal organ called a syrinx. Almost all birds use a syrinx to produce sound, but oscines have superior mastery of theirs. “The big difference is not the syrinx itself, but the muscles around it,” Kaufman says. “The oscines have a whole series of really complex muscles attached to the syrinx and it gives them much greater control.”
When a bird exhales, it can engage muscles inside the syrinx that control a series of membranes. As air flows over these membranes, they vibrate to create a specific tune. Because songbirds have the most control over their vocal organ, they can produce the most dramatic ballads.