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Lars Falkdalen Lindahl / Wikipedia

Songbirds can tell the difference between their song and that of a closely related species from the time they are young, but it's unclear how. A new study suggests their ability is innate and largely determined by their genes rather than learned from the adult birds that raise them.

What it means: A bird's song helps it to recognize its own kind and, through natural selection of the genes involved in how a bird learns to recognize the song of its species, these melodies could actually play a role in forming new species.

The experiment: Uppsala University's David Wheatcroft and Anna Qvarnström switched the eggs in nests of pied and collared flycatchers and, when the birds hatched, they played recordings of both species' songs for them. They found that the young birds responded more - by opening their beaks, chirping and looking around - to the song of their own kind, suggesting their experience early in life wasn't determining their song preference. They then generated a hybrid of the two species and found that the young birds preferred the song of the pied flycatcher regardless of the species of their mother.

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19 mins ago - Economy & Business

The European Central Bank and the market's moment of truth

ECB president Christine Lagarde; Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The biggest event for markets this week will be Thursday's meeting of the European Central Bank's governing council and the press conference following it from ECB president Christine Lagarde.

Why it matters: With interest rates jumping around the globe, investors are looking to central bank heads to see if they will follow the lead of Fed chair Jerome Powell, who says rising rates are nothing to worry about, or Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who has drawn a line in the sand on rates.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's next power play

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), America's ultimate swing voter, told me on "Axios on HBO" that he'll insist Republicans have more of a voice on President Biden's next big package than they did on the COVID stimulus.

The big picture: Manchin said he'll push for tax hikes to pay for Biden's upcoming infrastructure and climate proposal, and will use his Energy Committee chairmanship to force the GOP to confront climate reality.

Why picking a jury for the Derek Chauvin trial is so hard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The tough task of selecting a jury for former MPD officer Derek Chauvin's trial for the killing of George Floyd is set to begin Monday.

The state of play: "This case may be the most highly publicized criminal trial in a long time. ... That means that it's harder to find people who really have an open mind," Richard Frase, University of Minnesota Law School professor of criminal law, told Axios.