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:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping ... fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness ... size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of indulgence ... high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the bar ... from reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys ... blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription ... definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis ... four states – Kentucky , New ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: