What's That I Hear Now?


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Speaker: Dr. Larry Leamy, UNC Charlotte

Even non-birders are aware of how well owls can hear. Case in point, the Barn Owl can find & catch prey in a totally dark room. But what exactly is that Robin doing when it cocks its head? Hearing? Looking? Or Both?

Turkey Vulture (Russ, Flickr)

Osprey ©Jeff Lemons

Hearing is birds' second most important sense. Their daily lives are dependent on sound especially songs and calls. Recognizing different noises is essential to determine if a call is warning of a predator, advertising a territorial claim, or offering to share food. Birds hear a smaller frequency range than humans, but they have much more acute sound recognition skills. Birds are especially sensitive to pitch, tone, and rhythm changes and use those variations to recognize other individual birds, even in a noisy flock.

At our March meeting, Dr. Larry Leamy, Biology Professor Emeritus at UNC Charlotte, will help us understand how, what and how birds hear. After reviewing current research, he found some very interesting facts and fallacies about bird’s hearing. We are sure to learn a lot about how birds understand the world around them via their sense of hearing.

The Zoom link will be sent out on Wednesday, February 3rd  to members. Not a member? The meeting will be live streamed on our Facebook page or you can contact Judy Walker to receive the Zoom link. Information about our virtual meetings can also be found at the end of our newsletter. Previously recorded meetings.

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Pond at Clark's CreeK nature preserve
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Prothonotary nest box with eggs
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Piping plover (bird) with the legs of several chicks hiding under the bird. Photo by Edmund Prescottano/Audubon Photography Awards
Eastern bluebird feeding a fledgling worms. Photo by Dave Poortvliet
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Burrowing owl peeking around the edge of a fence post. By Matt Henson/Audubon Photography Awards
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Close-up of a great horned owl face. Photo by Scott Zimmermann./Audubon Photography Awards.
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Northern Mockingbird eating a winterberry. Photo by Will Stuart.
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