Navigation Links
Birds' Songs Reflect Changing Weather Patterns: Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- North American birds that live in areas with dramatic seasonal swings from wet to dry sing more versatile songs than others, according to a new study.

This musical flexibility helps birds ensure their calls are heard no matter what conditions they face, said researchers from Australian National University in Canberra and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C.

"They may sing certain notes really low or really high, or they may adjust the loudness or tempo," the study's co-author, Clinton Francis, of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, said in a center news release.

In conducting the study, the researchers analyzed the songs of more than 400 male birds. The recordings included 44 species, such as orioles, blackbirds, warblers, sparrows, cardinals, finches, chickadees and thrushes.

The recordings of whistles, warbles, cheeps, chirps, trills and twitters were converted into a sound graph using computer software. This enabled the researchers to see each song as a complex pattern of lines and measure its characteristics, such as its length, its highest and lowest notes, how many notes it included and how far apart the notes were.

In addition to the weather patterns, the researchers took geography into account. They found the birds that experience the most extreme differences in precipitation sing more complex songs, such as house finches and plumbeous vireos.

"Precipitation is closely related to how densely vegetated the habitat is," co-author Iliana Medina, of Australian National University, said in the news release. "Birds that have more flexibility in their songs may be better able to cope with the different acoustic environments they experience throughout the year."

Francis said sound transmits differently through different vegetation types. "Often when birds arrive at their breeding grounds in the spring, for example, there are hardly any leaves on the trees," he said. "Over the course of just a couple of weeks, the sound transmission changes drastically as the leaves come in."

The study authors noted environmental variation isn't the only factor that comes into play. Species with noticeable color differences between male and female birds also sing more variable songs, they said.

The study was published online Aug. 1 in the journal Biology Letters.

More information

The U.S. National Wildlife Federation provides more information on bird songs and calls.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, news release, Aug. 3, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Could Your Personality Be Reflected in Your Pooch?
2. NAMS journal Menopause reflects on the WHI 10 years later
3. Gut Microbes Might Reflect Health, Diet of Older Adults
4. Brain structure helps guide behavior by anticipating changing demands
5. Red Wine, Weather May Trigger Migraines
6. Use Caution When Exercising in Hot Weather
7. Extreme Heat Biggest Weather Killer, Expert Warns
8. Weather prediction task: Learning achievement with and without stress
9. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
10. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
11. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Birds' Songs Reflect Changing Weather Patterns: Study
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Altec ... their Title Sponsorship of Synergy 2015. The annual WennSoft KEY2ACT user conference will ... Ranch and will unite customers, partners, WennSoft team members and sponsors to facilitate ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth ... Georgia, along with affiliate organizations, Alabama Partnership for Telehalth (ATP) and Florida Partnership ... Fall 2015. , Each of the three conferences share this year’s conference ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Local Gold’s Gym franchise owner, Bryce Berry, received ... 26. Berry, who owns and operates Gold's Gym Cheyenne in Cheyenne, Wyoming, ... in the United States. A brand leader in global fitness, Gold’s Gyms are located ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... With Fall weather approaching ... tool for this month’s Facebook Hair Styler Contest. , Enter to win! , How ... Answering: What Is Your Favorite Hair Style? , 3. Follow us on Instagram ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... home furnishings and décor, today announced it closed on a $20.5 million funding ... will be used to support the Company’s continued rapid growth and expansion, broaden ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... the United States . By early next year, the ... the United States . By early next year, the ... The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Elekta and Philips ... MRI-guided linear accelerator in the United States . ... non-clinical capacity. Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG ; ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  The Pharmacy ... of Harbor Compounding Pharmacy in Costa ... in recognition of the pharmacy,s commitment to meeting ... --> ... --> --> ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... PARK, Calif. , Oct. 12, 2015 ... R&D and Chief Scientific Officer of Asterias ... biotechnology company in the emerging field of ... Dealmakers webcast, sponsored in part by Asterias ... Dr. Lebkowski will discuss the progress to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: