As I checked various sources, besides the many references to territory and mates, I found that parent birds teach their baby birds the songs they sing. And baby birds will "babble" before they learn to sing their songs. "The parallels between human and bird language are indeed striking," said psychology professor Bob McMurray of the University of Iowa. While some birds learn to sing in a matter of days, the Australian Lyrebird takes on average six years to learn the song.
It's been known for some time that birds' songs vary with geographic regions; the equivalent of dialects. In noisy environments, birds alter their songs to be heard above the noise.
Recent studies have discovered actual bird conversations, as multiple microphones allowed the researches to follow responses through a flock.
They've shown that Banded Wrens are listening and responding to one another, sending out purposeful and dynamic messages to multiple neighbors.But are they having fun? I found one person who was willing to allow that they were.
Luis Baptista, former curator of ornithology at the California Academy of Science, said they do sing for fun. "Sometimes birds sing just because they're happy, they've had a good meal, they've nothing to worry about. This is an expression, if you will, of well-being."
"If you will"? Of course I will. Why not?