Segments in this Video

Song One: Indri (07:52)


Sir David Attenborough recorded this song in Madagascar in 1960; it was the first audio recording of this lemur. He played their calls to lure them closer and locate them.

Song Two: Great Tit (04:08)

Professor John Krebs recorded the male birdsong in the U.K. in 1975; female tits do not sing. When he replayed the recording, no new birds would settle in the territory.

Analyzing Great Tit Song (05:08)

Songbirds comprise half of all birds. Birds have the most advanced vocal cords in nature. The syrinx can produce different sounds from the left and right simultaneously.

Song Three: Nightingale (06:27)

Dr. Conny Landgraf recorded this song. Male nightingales arrive from Africa. When females arrive, males work to attract them with song.

Song Four: Superb Lyrebird (03:51)

Fossils and DNA have shown that song began in Australia, where the ancestor of all songbirds evolved. This recording was made outside Melbourne in 1935; lyrebirds are talented at mimicry.

Male Superb Lyrebird (04:56)

A male lyrebird in Australia puts on a mating display. Dr. Anastasia Dalziell explains that he is making a female believe she is in danger so she will stay with him.

Female Superb Lyrebird (03:41)

In Australia, scientist Victoria Austin and her team help to dispel the myth that female lyrebirds do not sing. They have recorded a female mimicking a goshawk.

Song Five: Superb Fairy Wren (05:55)

This recording is from Australia in the 1990s. Professor Naomi Langmore was one of the first scientists to recognize the significance of the female birds' song. It is less common in the northern hemisphere.

Song Six: Humpback Whale (05:44)

Off the coast of Bermuda in the 1950s. U.S. Navy engineers were using hydrophones to listen for enemy submarines when they captured whale sounds. Dr. Roger Payne describes swimming with a singing whale.

Song Seven: Kaua'i 'O'o (03:31)

The O'o and many other Hawaiian songbirds are extinct due to habitat destruction and invasive species. Hear a male calling for a mate that may no longer exist.

Credits: Attenborough's Wonder of Song (00:36)

Credits: Attenborough's Wonder of Song

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Attenborough's Wonder of Song

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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Sir David Attenborough tunes in to the remarkable sounds of the natural world, an open-air festival of songs of sex and survival. But will they soon be heard no more? A new generation of scientists have discovered that animal song is not just the preserve of males. Females sing too. But there are also fears that we do not have much longer to hear them. Because as humankind gets noisier, the rest of the planet is falling silent. Joyous, surprising and poignant, this story of pioneering research and astounding insight is a chorus of wonder – and a wake-up call.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: FPT280310

ISBN: 979-8-88678-063-5

Copyright date: ©2021

Closed Captioned

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