Navigation Links
Clamorous city blackbirds
Date:1/11/2013

This press release is available in German.

Animals have developed a variety of strategies for dealing with increasing noise pollution in their habitats. It is known, for example, that many urban birds sing at a high pitch to differentiate their song from the low-frequency sound of road traffic. However, as scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology discovered, this is just a useful side effect. The real reason for this behaviour is that songs at a higher pitch are also automatically louder. The birds can make themselves heard far better in city noise by increasing the volume of their song than by raising its frequency.

Despite the numerous unfavourable environmental conditions they encounter there, many wild animals have colonised cities as a new habitat. In cities they must deal with greater numbers of humans and with more light and noise pollution than they encounter in rural settings. However, the urban habitat also offers certain advantages, for example a more abundant supply of food and new breeding options. Many animals have thus adapted surprisingly well to city life.

To attract mating partners and defend their territories, urban robins sing in the latter night when the traffic noise decreases after the evening rush. Many other bird species, including blackbirds, sing in urban environments at a higher pitch. So their song is easier to detect in the lower-frequency traffic noise.

However, as a group of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and Radolfzell has discovered, this is just half the truth. They studied urban blackbirds in the city of Vienna and country blackbirds in the nearby Vienna Woods. Additionally, they raised birds by hand at the Max Planck Institute and investigated the correlations between the frequency and amplitude of their song under controlled conditions. It emerged from this research that the animals were able to produce higher tones at higher amplitudes. In the city, blackbirds sing preferably at these high frequencies that they can produce particularly loudly.

In a further step, the researchers examined which effect is better suited to avoiding the acoustic masking by traffic noise: the higher frequency or the higher amplitude that results from it. "The higher volume of the higher-pitched song is more effective than the higher frequency," says Erwin Nemeth, first author of the study. "So we assume that the increased volume is the main cause of the higher frequency singing by city birds." Henrik Brumm, the leader of the research team, adds: "By actively selecting high-frequency sounds, the city birds can increase their capacity to sing loudly and in this way counteract the acoustic masking of their song by the ambient noise."


'/>"/>

Contact: Erwin Nemeth
enemth@orn.mpg.de
43-664-456-8191
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Clamorous city blackbirds
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market to ... AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein recognition, ... industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, health ... and by region ( North America , ... , and the Rest of the World) ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative ... ... Maldives Immigration ... Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology ... object recognition technologies, today announced the release of ... (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition using up ... on a single computer. The new version uses ... improve accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... May 16, 2017 , ... ... of its new ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenomic deconvolution service. ProxiMeta enables researchers to ... high-molecular-weight DNA extraction—speeding research insights at lower cost. , “We’re very excited ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... (PRWEB) May 16, 2017 , ... ... Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (CAOS), long-standing development partners Invibio Biomaterial Solutions, UK, ... spine surgery workshop to help expand knowledge of the implantation of Double ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... May 15, 2017 , ... ... Advanced Lift Contouring Cream, a gravity-shattering cream with a patented formula, clinically proven ... to bring the Advanced Lift Contouring Cream to our already innovative ELEVATE product ...
(Date:5/12/2017)... , May 12, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... galcanezumab, an investigational treatment for the prevention of ... in three Phase 3 studies (EVOLVE-1, EVOLVE-2 and ... of monthly migraine headache days compared to placebo ... robust results from these three studies bring us ...
Breaking Biology Technology: