"The birds speak."
Jarrettph is right. "ציפורים" is actually feminine, even though it has the "ים" ending which makes it appear to be masculine.
So how would I write it if I wanted to say that only male birds are speaking?
I'm not sure if you can but if you could, you'd presumably use the masculine plural מדברים.
Even though ציפור is a feminine word that doesn't mean that whenever you use it that it is referring to a female bird. So, if I say ציפורים that wouldn't necessarily mean that I was saying female birds, just that I am talking about birds in general.
Same difference. The forvo link is a native speaker I'm pretty sure. The ə sound can be interpreted as a or e.
It's hard to memorise when it isn't made apparent in any learning material. Somethinh I find most irritating about the language.