Program Information — Series 1 & 2
Click on a program in the right-hand column to see a description and program notes.

Circular Breathing

You could describe our breathing as "tidal", since it flows in and out over the same path. Birds use a kind of circular breathing, where 9 air sacs act as bellows to maintain a constant, one-way flow of fresh air through their spongy, tube-like lungs. It's a little bit like the circular breathing of didgeridoo players, but the bird's purpose is to keep a continuous flow of air through their lungs, not out of their mouths.

Didgeridoo playing by David Hudson from the CD Proud to be Aborigine. The dawn chorus underlying my explanation of bird breathing was recorded by Chris Tenney at the Los Padres National Forest.

Series 1
Vocal Range
Importance of Song
Avoiding Monotony
Learning Song
Hip Hop Mimicry
Hummingbird Complexity
Syrinx Anatomy
Internal Duets (Cardinal)
Internal Duets (Cowbird)
Internal Duets (Thrushes)
Syrinx & Pan Pipes

Series 2
Songs & Calls
Call Repertoires
Alarm Calls
Mobbing Calls
Call Notes
Cross-Species Alarms
Lungs & Air Sacs
Circular Breathing