Learning how to sing

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Today I witnessed a starling singling lesson. An adult sat on my tv aerial and ran through it’s repertoire of clicks and whistles while a youngster sat two doors down attempting to imitate but producing little more that some scratchy squeals. The adult tried again, talking in the most animated fashion about, I guess, the sky, the weather, the amount of craneflies to eat and where to find them. He stopped and stared at the youngster as if to say, “go on then, you’re turn.”

After a moment the youngster began, quietly whispering a little ditty, like a shy teenager on a school stage on speech night. Then both fell quiet, contemplating perhaps that a few more lessons were going to be needed.

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