Though the idea that mimics learn their sounds from other species might seem painfully obvious (why else call them mimics?) the theory had not been tested, at least not extensively.  But university researchers studying bowerbirds have figured out that they do, indeed, learned by listening directly to other species, and not from other bowerbirds.  Now the questions become ‘Why don’t mimics learn from each other?’ and ‘Is there an evolutionary advantage to not teaching one’s own young a species-specific song?’

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.