After 6 months of being listened to by a small, wild bird, that roosts in my heater box on the roof,
it's had it's effects on me, and the bird, too. I don't think this situation is sustainable due to the plus 100 degree days we have here, during July and August. Listening to music full time, as this bird wants, is something I've never done before. Very soon, the music that I liked was either listened to again and again, or I had to try new music, which I've done, so this is what's been happening for 6 months....every day. Expanding my horizons, musically, is something I wanted to do as a retiree, and the bird has been a positive force in my current living environs.
How does a bird listen to music? I've read that birds listen to music differently than humans, and that must be true. And it's probably the case that other species of birds listen differently, if they listen to music at all. Does a bird remember the music that they've listened to? All I can say is what I've observed from this bird in my heater box, over the last 6 months. While all the time being aware that what I think I hear the bird expressing in it's variety of tweets, very well may be projecting, which is common among us humans. However, it is amazing that this bird can communicate it's desires and woes by it's tweets, and if I were an animal behaviorist, I would be interested....that is if they don't immediately dismiss me as a nut case, because who ever heard of a wild bird listening to music? Actually, if you go on You Tube, there are birds and other animals enthralled with music.
The bird in my heater box listens to music, seemingly, without distraction. There's little to distract a bird in a box, although it can hear sounds from the immediate neighborhood. Of course, the bird's brain is much smaller than a human's, and I would think that bird behavior is instinct based with little if anything akin to a busy mind that humans have. It is difficult for humans to listen to music with sustained intensity because the mind wanders, whereas this bird listens with sustained intensity, normally. We've listened to one Beethoven symphony after another, and it listens unceasingly, tweeting 'sweet-tweets' at the parts it likes, and wanting more after the music ends.
The bird listens to my clicking sounds as I type and the clicks my mouse. It often can recognize that I'm about to play music by the pattern of the clicks. There are 3 ways the bird tweets the start of a new tune. The most common is that the bird listens for the tune to develop for 4 to 10 bars and then it tweets. The second way is to tweet the opening note of the song with a tweet that seems to say, "At last, music ! ". The 3rd way is to interpret my clicking sounds when summoning up music from You Tube, and that tweet has a somewhat excited and hopeful sound to it. It doesn't always guess correctly, but it does guess correctly often enough to call attention to it. Sometimes, on You Tube, the song collections leave no space between the ending of one tune and the start of the next. The bird recognizes when this happens and tweets in the new tune. This happens quite often.
I should explain that the bird is not long winded. It seems that the bird needs to recharge between tweets, which are commonly about 20 to 35 seconds apart. So, during music, it can't tweet at any ol' time, because it "recharges". So, I have to guess if it's tweeting because it normally tweets at intervals, or is it tweeting because of the music? The tone of the tweet settles the question. It has a standard tweet, which is basically just one note, but can alter it's tweet to express itself. What I call a sweet-tweet, is a normal tweet with a higher tone at the end of the tweet. There are variations of the sweet-tweet, and my favorite is the excited sweet-tweet, which is loud and sounds more like a loud whistle, which is most common at exciting parts of the music. There is the stuttering tweet which indicates that the bird is on "cloud-9". Then there's is the flat-tweet, which I'm getting right now because there's no music playing. Then, there is the insta-tweet, which seems to be spring loaded, in that the bird can whip this tweet out virtually simultaneously with whatever it wants to highlight. It will use the inta-tweet with my yawns in bed, to encourage me to get up in the morning. Once in a while, it will insta-tweet my pool shot. It will insta-tweet my typing, to hammer home the problem of no music playing. It has a suffering tweet, too, and that can be very sad.
One aspect of it's tweets is that it tweets as recognition. Back in December, it began listening to me in my bedroom, den, bathroom and kitchen, and would tweet when it recognized something that I did during my daily routine, such as throwing my socks in the hallway at night before I go to bed. A sock does not make much noise when it lands, but the bird can hear anything that I can hear in the room, and more. It tweets when I get out of my computer chair, and it tweets when it thinks I'm about the leave the house. It tweets when I come back in the house, but not always. It tweets when it hears water running, or a drawer closing in the kitchen, or when it hears the microwave oven. It tweets a flat sounding tweet when I make noise during music. I find myself apologizing to the bird for making noise (I'm repressed by a tiny bird). And this gives rise to confusion as to whether the bird is recognizing something or enjoying it. While listening to concertos, the bird tweets the solo instrument, and is that recognition that the instrument is now playing, or that it likes it? Probably both, when it comes to music. There's little doubt, due to it's sweet tweets and timing of those tweets that it likes solo instruments cutting in during concertos or any kind of music. Big band music has a lot of this kind of action, and the bird just loves Big Band music. It can enjoy any kind of music, but some more than others, based on the sweetness and frequency of it's tweets.
The bird tweets repetition in music, which happens in popular music as well as classical. The bird loves when solo instruments "go wild", and it loves crescendos. Almost always, the bird tweets when the tune has ended. Lately, it seems to be guessing at the last note of the tune. It will commonly tweet sweet parts of the music, which I find sweet also, and that suggests that what sounds good to a human ear, also sounds good to a bird's ear. This bird likes all music, from bongo solos to the Firebird Suite. ( I haven't played any rap or disco music for it, out of respect for the bird. ) The bird doesn't like it when I pause the music, or when You Tube interrupts rudely, like it does. It doesn't like me leaving my computer chair to go do something, because it feels it needs to follow what I'm doing in the kitchen or bathroom, etc., and the music then gets in the way of tracking me. I thought I could just put on some music to entertain the bird while I did chores, but listening to music seems to be done with a buddy, in the nest. The bird not only listens for patterns of clicks for starting music from You Tube, it also can tell when I'm turning off my 2 computers at night, which means no music until the next morning. It takes this without protest. It will tweet when I walk into my bedroom and listen to me take off my clothes, which it used to tweet to, but seldom does anymore. Each night, I switch off the light and say to it, "Goodnight little birdy, good luck hunting. I hope you catch a big juicy mosquito." Then it listens to me get into bed, and when I rustle the covers to get comfy, it tweets. It continues to listen to me in bed, and will tweet if I scratch or move around. I think it waits for me to go to sleep before it goes hunting.