The Big Update Progress & Latest Releases

I'm still chugging through updates, and hoping to start my seafarring bird sets by the end of this year.  With any luck, by my annual Audubon's Birthday Sale, I should be close to the completion of the Songbird ReMix set updates.

What's on tap next:

Threatened, Endanagered, Extinct v3 and Seabirds.

What still needs to be updated:

  • Australia v3
  • Birds of Legend
  • Dodo
  • Flamingos
  • Hawai'i
  • Jacanas
  • Motherhood
  • Pelicans
  • Puffins
  • Seabirds v1
  • Seabirds v2
  • Threatened v3
  • Ostrich Sully
  • A Bird in the Hand
  • Perching Places
  • The Aviary & Poses
  • Elegant Swan
  • Hawaiian Voyager
  • Mission Bells
  • Nature's Wonders Duck Pond
  • Pixel Downs
  • Songbird ReMix Optics
  • Safari Camp
  • Seashore House
  • Weapons of Lua

  • Real Birds: What makes a Songbird a Songbird? 

    from Audubon Science

    Listen to the fluted chorus of a Wood Thrush, a beautiful song known to inspire artists and enliven eastern forests each summer. Now hear the gruff squawk of an American Crow.

    Which is the songbird? If you said both, take a bow.

    “Something can be a songbird and not be an impressive singer,” says Audubon field editor Kenn Kaufman. So, if singing ability doesn’t make a songbird a songbird, then what does? That question is actually a lot trickier to answer than it might seem.

    The general public might throw the term around loosely, but for scientists, “songbird” has a more detailed meaning: It refers to a specific suborder of birds. All songbirds are perching birds, an order called passerines that share a distinct toe arrangement that helps them grasp branches. Passerines are separated into three suborders, the largest of which is Passeri. Birds in the Passeri suborder are called oscines, or songbirds. The suborder includes more than 4,000 species that range from the compact Golden-crowned Kinglet to the much larger Common Raven.

    Despite their variety in size and musical talent, all songbirds do have something in common: precise control of a highly specialized vocal organ called a syrinx. Almost all birds use a syrinx to produce sound, but oscines have superior mastery of theirs. “The big difference is not the syrinx itself, but the muscles around it,” Kaufman says. “The oscines have a whole series of really complex muscles attached to the syrinx and it gives them much greater control.”

    When a bird exhales, it can engage muscles inside the syrinx that control a series of membranes. As air flows over these membranes, they vibrate to create a specific tune. Because songbirds have the most control over their vocal organ, they can produce the most dramatic ballads.

    Read more

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