Is bird song essentially biological, or essentially cultural?
Early experiments by Thorpe in 1954 showed the importance of a bird being able to hear a tutor's song. When birds are raised in isolation, away from the influence of conspecific males, they still sing. While the song they produce resembles the song of a wild bird, it lacks the complexity and sounds distinctly different. (Wikipedia)
Is bird song associated with natural selection?
Scientists hypothesize that bird song has evolved through sexual selection, and experiments suggest that the quality of bird song may be a good indicator of fitness.
If bird songs are learned rather than simply produced via instinct (as are insect songs for example), does that make them cultural, at least in part?
If bird songs are produced instinctively, does that make them biological?
What bearing might this have on the vocalizations of primates?
What bearing might this have on the vocalizations of humans?
(You can see where I'm going with this.)