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:11/25/2015)... ... , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of ... Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite ... business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s ... learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions ... 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result ... from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An unlikely ... resulting in a way for homeless people to have a more dignified and ... new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Students and parents have something to be thankful ... Create Real Impact awards. California Casualty is proud to support the contest ... distracted and reckless driving, the number one killer of young drivers. , Almost ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ... that Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is scheduled ... Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. th ... York Palace Hotel in New York ... EST. Mr. Schuh will be available for one-on-one meetings ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 USP 800 applies ... preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician ... The chapter also covers all entities which store, ... hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient treatment clinics, physicians, ... --> --> What is the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 Developmental, commercial, ... role in boosting the profitability of pharmaceutical products, ... commercial, and regulatory/legal strategies all play a ... says GBI Research . --> ... play a key role in boosting the profitability of pharmaceutical products, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: