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NOVA; Why Do Birds Sing

Approximate date: 1974

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Why Do Birds Sing
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

NOVA shows that birds use song to achieve many of the things humans do through speech. They even learn their songs in ways strikingly similar to the way babies learn to talk. Songs allow birds to joust for control over the choicest territories for raising their families without losing a feather: instead of scratching at each other, they screech. Birds also use songs to cooperate against predators.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Shedd, Ben (Producer)
Chicago: “NOVA; Why Do Birds Sing,” GBH Archives, accessed December 9, 2023,
MLA: “NOVA; Why Do Birds Sing.” GBH Archives. Web. December 9, 2023. <>.
APA: NOVA; Why Do Birds Sing. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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