Researchers in Canada have revealed that what often sounds like friendly exchange of song between birds is actually the noise of male birds attempting to seem manlier than one another – and therefore more akin to aggressive rap “battles” between hip hop artists. ‘Song sharing among sparrows is actually an aggressive behaviour akin to flinging insults back and forth,’ said lead researcher Janet Lapierre, from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Sparrows living in more competitive environments are likely to perform a more aggressive but smaller selection of songs, the researchers say.
This is like trying to prove themselves in a tough neighbourhood.
Those living in less competitive areas are more likely to sing their own songs rather than compete with other males by chirping the same tunes as them, the study adds.