Young birds babble like babies

From Young Birds Babble Like Babies.

The happy babbling that entertains parents as their babies try to mimic speech turns out to have a parallel in the animal world.

Baby birds babble away before mastering their adult song, researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

Michale S. Fee and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studied the brains of baby zebra finches as the little birds learned the unique song they would use as adults.

The baby birds practiced making sounds incessantly, the team reported.

"Birds start out by babbling, just as humans do," Fee said, while the adult bird produces a very precise pattern of sound. [continue]