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Bird song focus of discussion at the Cary Institute

MILLBROOK — The hills are alive with the sound of male songbirds. For most of us, this persistent chirp, cackle, whistle and tweet is little more than background chatter, inconsequential and, in any case, indecipherable. But between birds, science has learned, it is richly communicative.

Early in May at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies’ auditorium in Millbrook, a standing-room-only crowd of bird lovers turned up to see and hear one of the world’s foremost ornithologists explain a bit about where bird songs originate and why birds sing the way they do.

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