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RE: Songbirds audiogram.

To: <>
Subject: RE: Songbirds audiogram.
From: "Hough, Gerald" <>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 11:37:45 -0400
Hi folks,

The earlier works of J.C. Saunders (and I recall Manley and Gleich too) might 
be helpful resources as well for finding information regarding the perceptual 
limit of bird hearing...

I believe that the top perceptual limit for most bird hearing was around 8.5 
kHz (from an older Saunders review article).  When I was doing a pilot project 
(never completed) on high-frequency phase-locking ability of n. magno neurons 
in zebra finch (with Sue Volman), I don't recall finding a lot of scientific 
evidence of folks actually TESTING this limit in songbirds.  Individual species 
might have a small number of hair cells/magno cells that can track sound up to 
the barn owl limit, I just don't recall people testing frequencies higher than 
2.5 kHz. Regardless, it might not be behaviorally relevant even if they do.

Of course, the last time I poked my head in that area was in the late 90's, so 
advances might have been made in the interim.


Gerald Hough, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Dept's Biological Sciences and Psychology
Rowan University
201 Mullica Hill Rd, Glassboro NJ 08028

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Martin Braun
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 3:14 PM
Subject: Re: Songbirds audiogram.

Dear Jean-Francois,

your group of bird species is almost certainly totally deaf at >6 kHz. The
only investigated species that is known to have a hearing range of
(slightly) >10 kHz is the barn owl.

For references, you might like to make use of the publications of Geoff
Manley and Christine Köppl.


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site:

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