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Do Birds Have Ears?

Do Birds Have Ears - Yes, birds have ears! In fact, most birds have very good hearing and can hear a wider range of sounds than humans.

Do Birds Have Ears

What is the structure of a bird's ear?

However, they do not have an outer ear structure such as an earlobe or pinna, and in most species the ear entrance is covered by a circle of soft, palm-like feathers that overlap the known ear, such as headphones or headphones. The ears of birds are very similar to the ears of lizards.

They are usually just behind and slightly below the eye, and each ear opening can be as large as the eye. The earmuffs help protect the ear from wind noise during bird flight and keep dust and water out, but because they don't have spikes, they don't block sound from entering the ear.

Like humans, birds have three parts of the ear. outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. The outer ear guides air through the eardrum, or tympanic membrane, and consists of a short passage called the ear canal. Most birds have a muscle in the skin around the nasal passage that partially or completely closes the opening. The middle ear sends vibrations from the eardrum through the ossicular chain to the columella and inner ear's cochlea, where they are transmitted to the brain via nerve receptors and interpreted as sound.

The auger in birds is similar to a crocodile. It is a short, slightly curved bony tube measuring 2.5 to 4.5 mm in most birds and up to 10 mm in owls.

How is the hearing of birds?

Although there are no complex auditory organs, birds have well-developed hearing, the second most important sense after vision. They need good hearing to communicate with each other through songs and phone calls, and many species also rely on sound to hunt prey and warn of danger. Some birds, such as flamingos and penguins, have such keen hearing that they can recognize their family members by their calls, even in noisy flocks. The full hearing range of birds is 100 Hz to 14 kHz, which is slightly narrower than that of humans, who can hear in the 20 Hz to 20 kHz range depending on age, but are more sensitive in the 1 kHz to 4 kHz range.

No bird species hears ultrasonic sounds above 20 kHz, and although sensitivity to infrasound or frequencies below 20 Hz is not well understood, some species, such as pigeons, exhibit behavioral and physiological responses at very low frequencies. It has been suggested that birds can migrate and travel long distances using infrasound as a signal. In 1997, almost a third of a flock of 60,000 carrier pigeons was lost during a cross-Channel race when their flight path crossed that of the Concorde.

The supersonic jet is believed to have created a sonic boom, preventing the birds from hearing the low-frequency sounds they need to find their way home. Evidence also shows that birds can hear infrasound waves to predict storms, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, which causes them to change their behavior to avoid severe weather and other natural disasters. Some birds, especially nocturnal birds and certain species of swifts, use echolocation, a method of locating objects using reflected sound, as do bats, dolphins and whales. These birds live and hunt in dark burrows and use high-pitched, audible clicks and rapid chirps to help them navigate low-light conditions and find insects for food.

Part of the human outer ear's function is to help us identify sounds from different pitches. But because birds don't have external ears, it was long believed that birds couldn't tell where a sound was coming from. However, a 2014 study by a German university team found that birds can also tell if a sound source is above or below them, or at the same level, and they do this thanks to the shape of their head. . Depending on where the sound waves reach the bird's head, they are reflected, absorbed, or refracted.

The head blocks sound from certain directions, while other sound waves travel through the head and react in the opposite ear. The bird's brain can then determine whether the sound is coming from above or below, using the different volume levels in each ear. This is a very accurate system, they can identify extraneous sounds from -30 degrees to +30 degrees.

This phenomenon is most pronounced in owls, whose hearing is the most sensitive of all birds. They have concave facial discs that direct sound to the ears, and the shape of the disc can be changed by facial muscles. Since the owl's beak is pointing downwards, this increases the surface area for collecting sound waves. In some species of night owls, such as barn owls, the ear openings are unevenly distributed across the sides of the head.

This helps them pinpoint the source of the sound more accurately. For example, a barn owl has a hole in its left ear than its right, so if the sound comes from below the owl's field of view, the sound will be louder in the right ear than in the left. Sound signals entering the brain through the ears allow owls to mentally map their surroundings and the source of the sound.


Why do some birds have ears?

Some birds, such as the horned lark, vyshyvanka, black-necked grebe, eared pheasant, various penguins, and about a third of owls, have ears on top of their heads.

However, these are just badminton and have nothing to do with hearing. They are used for camouflage, courtship and communication, and to signal attacks to other birds. Sometimes they are only visible when lifted, but have nothing to do with the bone structure of the ear and are not used to direct sound towards the ear canal.

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