Bird Hearing Ranges
Name: Richard F.
I am interested in determining the hearing frequency of certain birds, i.e., what
range do they hear? I assume that it is different for different species, and am particularly
interested in Pica pica, the blackbilled magpie. Obviously the hearing range for birds
overlaps the human range, as we can hear them and the can hear us, but does it extend above
or below our hearing range, and how much? Especially for the above species.
There has been a great deal of research on this very complex topic. Many bird songs extend
into frequencies well above that of humans. An older reference is "A Study of Bird Song," I
believe by Donald Borror, reprinted some years ago by Dover Publications. Borror has written
several books and assembled recordings. Lang Elliott is another author with several titles on
bird songs. A textbook of ornithology should be a good reference, as is The Audubon Society
Encyclopedia of Birds edited by Terres.
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Update: June 2012