Thursday, June 04, 2009

Birds of a feather can't understand each other if one is urban and the other is rural, study finds

City boys and country boys really are different. In the bird world. Researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales discovered that male great tits (Photo: Luc Viatour) in urban areas behave differently than those in rural areas. So differently, in fact, that two birds of the same species cannot understand one another! reports that the male city birds warble at a pitch high enough to be heard above the city’s noise, but their rural cousins, who emit a lower-pitch warble, are unable to understand it. The study used recordings of city-bird warbles from 20 towns and medium-sized urban areas and played them back to rural birds from a few miles away during breeding season. "Usually this would provoke a strong reaction … but there was a slower and weaker response from the rural males. They were less aggressive and not quite sure what to make of it," said Dr. Rupert Marshall, the project director. "It was like the city birds were speaking a different language. Likewise, we found city birds didn't understand the lower rural pitch.” (Read more)


Luc Viatour said...

Correction: Photo is: ¢ Luc Viatour GFDL/CC

Best regards

Luc Viatour said...

Thank you:)