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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Partha Mitra
  • Director Lisa LaBracio
  • Script Editor Eleanor Nelsen
  • Character Designer Tara Sunil Thomas
  • Animator Lisa LaBracio
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Narrator Addison Anderson


Additional Resources for you to Explore
Interested in looking at microscopic images of zebra finch brains? This website contains high resolution images showing neuronal cell bodies and myelinated axons in the zebra finch brain.

Interested in learning more about the auditory development of songbirds? This scientific report investigates the significance of early auditory experience in juvenile birds.

This Smithsonian piece explores the effects of “embryonic learning” in zebra finches, who often sing to their eggs.

Produced by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, this video captures young zebra finches memorizing the songs of their fathers.

Are humans like birds? The Nature journal discusses how babies learn to babble like birds learn to sing.

The following birdsong recordings from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology were used in this lesson:
Toxostoma rufum; Maryland, United States; 13 April 1997; Wilbur L. Hershberger; ML 84769.
Brown Thrasher 1 MD Song.wav: Toxostoma rufum; Maryland, United States; 21 April 1998; Wilbur L. Hershberger; ML 94281.
Wood Thrush 4 NY Song.wav: Hylocichla mustelina; New York, United States; 15 May 1951; Arthur A. Allen, Peter Paul Kellogg; ML 11316.