Starling mimicry

starling singing
Adult starling in song on 24th November, Northumberland, UK. 

Starlings are really excellent at mimicking the sounds of other birds and, in fact, any other sounds they hear in their environment: the squeal of car breaks, horses’ hooves, electronic alarms, dogs – and they can be taught to imitate human speech. While maybe occasionally the mimicry is spontaneous, mostly it is carefully practised and woven into phrases, which are then arranged into songs.

This is the partial analysis of one song from a starling, recorded on 30th January 1995 in Felton, Northumberland. 


The same piece as audio and static images.