Our animal dictionary isn't quite the same as a human dictionary for many reasons. Animals may live on the same planet with us -- even in our own backyards -- but they experience life with different visual and hearing skills. Some have the ability to sense the earth's magnetic poles and changes in barometric pressure, and can process their sensations faster than we. The experiences and perceptions we humans communicate about are so different from the experiences and perceptions of animals that if animals DID have words, we still couldn't directly translate their words into our own. The whistles, buzzes, chirps, and other sounds produced by birds, for example, which have a syrinx, or song box, can't be described with letters -- unlike the sounds we produce with our larynx, or voice box. Unfortunately, sounds can't be alphabetized unless they correspond to letters. And although animals certainly communicate through their vocalizations, we can't directly translate from animal language into English because our words have been developed for humans to communicate our human experiences.
Using Journey North's bird dictionary will help you do many things. You will be able to:
To learn how ornithologists record and figure out the meaning of bird sounds, seeStudying Animal Sounds
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