Wilderness Festival

Train your Bird in Stereo

Wilderness Festival Cornbury Park, Charlbury, OX7 3EH, UK



An event for Dr Bramwell’s Odditorium:

Exact timeslot tbc – please see festival leaflet to confirm details.

Centuries before iTunes, vinyl records and the phonograph, songbirds were trained to provide popular music in the home. In this short, informal talk, I’ll tell the forgotten story of these primordial, feathered sound machines.

Hear a bullfinch singing German folksongs and the champion talking budgie who could recite 500 words and phrases, as Sarah digs into the archives to reveal how we taught the birds to sing our tunes. Sarah explores why songbirds – just like humans – have evolved such extraordinary musical talents and reveals why the practice of songbird training eventually fell out of fashion.

Hear more in the BBC Radio 4 documentary The Bird Fancyer’s Delight.