Friday, January 4, 2013

Turn it down a bit...I can't hear myself sing!

Well, I just couldn't think of an appropriate title for today's Blog.

The subject is a Song Thrush that started singing in a tree at the side of Norton Spit on Wednesday....the 2nd January!!! The only problem is that the Thrush is facing a lot of competition from the traffic that roars and thunders by day-in, day-out. If you watch...and listen to...the video below you will see...and hear...what I mean!

Whilst researching the internet in preparation for a talk on bird song that I'd been invited to give a few years ago, I came across some fascinating studies into the effects of our modern-day noise on bird song. For instance, one American study on White-crowned Sparrows - referred to here - concluded that urban birds have ditched many of the lower notes employed by their country cousins - drowned out by the noise of traffic - and employ many more higher notes! Mind you, we all know that studies are never simple! I've just come across another American study - here - that demonstrates how birds singing in built up areas utilize the lower frequency because the hard surfaces of roads & buildings transmit the sounds well. It does point out, though, that this is not the case where there is a high traffic density.

Whatever you think, you can't deny that this Song Thrush is going to have to work pretty hard to attract a mate & defend his patch!!

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