These two videos provide an informative introduction to research on avian communication at the Laboratory of Animal Behavior at The City University of New York and specifically the work of Dr. Ofer Tchernichovski.
On Bird's Song (2:49) Ofer Tchernichovski uses the songbird to study mechanisms of vocal learning. Like early speech development in the human infant, the songbird learns to imitate complex sounds during a critical period of development. The adult bird cannot imitate any more - we do not know why. His lab studies the animal behavior and dynamics of vocal learning and sound production across different brain levels. The lab aims to uncover the specific physiological and molecular (gene expression) brain processes that underlie song learning. Source: PBS
Avian Einsteins (9:14) Ofer Tchernichovski discusses recent study of avian communication. He offers a look at how birds communicate and in various social situations and how communication skills are transferred from one generation to an other. This is a segment from the 2009 World Science Festival. Source: YouTube.