Zebra Finch Songs

Fabrizio’s Song

Recording of Fabrizio, Take One

I have found recordings over the last few days of some of my zebra finch’s songs. When I heard my first zebra finch, Fabrizio, sing, it didn’t sound like much of a song to me and I thought to myself, how do those who research zebra finch song stand the sound of a zebra finch? It’s nasal, sharp and somewhat tinny. My thought was researchers could find better sounding candidates. But now that I’ve been through several generations, I see the advantage to studying zebra finches: they’re incredibly prolific.

Indeed the intricacies of Fabrizio’s song and its legacy for subsequent generations did not surface until long after he and Serafina started reproducing. His first male offspring, Facondo, did not have a very memorable song and I was still not prepared to listen. But subsequent males began to intrigue me, and then I began to keep track of each bird’s song. To memorize the song and put the right song with the right bird, I gave each bird an Italian name that fit his song.

An interesting thing about zebra finch song, once you get used to the sound of it, is it’s syncopation. The rhythms they produce are pronounced and intricate.

So I learned to appreciate Fabrizio’s song through his progeny. I wrote down their songs as each one matured. Then one day I realized I had never written down Fabrizio’s song. I was sitting on the couch with my staff paper on the coffee table and a pen, and just as I started to write, Fabrizio landed right on the coffee table with an emphatic thump, and started singing loudly. He wanted to get my attention, and to remind me that I always got the first phrase of his song incorrectly (as I sometimes sing a bird’s song after he does, as I’m wandering through the house). I thanked Fabrizio for the correction and wrote his song down as he sang it, and tried to never make that mistake again.

So here’s Fabrizio singing his own song (the picture below is Fabrizio in his prime), and I’ve also added Adolfo and Vincenzo. The recordings are excerpts with the birds singing and the other links are to their songs written out as music. Enjoy! More to come in future posts.

Recording of Adolfo

Adolfo’s Song

Recording of Vincenzo

Vincenzo’s Song

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