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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Urban life is stressing out songbirds

According to a report in the Observer songbirds in cities could be damaging their health, exposing themselves to predators and weakening their gene pool by trying to be heard above the din of urban life.

The idea is that modern cities are so noisey that urban birds have to try to sing over city noise. This could mean that these birds become less attractive to females, this is becuase by trying to sing louder birds have less control over the sound they produce. The song may lose quality and become rougher sounding.

According to Dr Sue Anne Zollinger, of the University of St Andrews

The difference between urban and rural birdsong is becoming so great that the two groups could now be unable to communicate, leading to inbreeding and a weakened gene pool

6 comments:

Carin Fuchs said...

I think we all know that living in modern cities is not really a healthy thing for us humans, but that it should have such dreadful impact on birds as well (apart from not being able to find enough natural food) is quite shoking and I confess quite new to me.

Tricia said...

This is something that I hadn't heard before and in some ways, is quite frightening. I have felt for some time that there is far too much "noise pollution" in cities and towns!

oldcrow61 said...

It's all so sad, sometimes I just want to cry. What have we done to all the creatures???

Toffeeapple said...

Light pollution is another factor, I know that here in Buckinghamshire the lights keep the robins and blackbirds awake far into the night when they should be sleeping and re-charging their batteries, I'd be able to get to sleep more easily too. I wish we could turn out the lights at night.

Pete said...

tf - there is a small town in essex called Theydon Bois that does turn its street lights out

Toffeeapple said...

Right, I'm moving then!