Blue bird

Singing the blues-birds

Deep ecology is a philosophical point of view that encourages us to move beyond seeing ourselves as humans as masters of the planet with an obligation to look after it, to seeing ourselves as part of the community of all living things. There is quite a mind shift involved in that and intrinsic to it is respect for the life and needs of all other creatures. So when a new study shows that human-made noise is affecting the song of bluebirds, it matters.

For the new study a researcher from the University of Exeter recorded songs produced by 32 male bluebirds. Two songs were analysed from each bird; those produced during the quietest and noisiest times of the day respectively.

Birds are able to detect the increase in ambient noise levels and respond to try to make themselves heard above the clamour.

It emerged that as background noise increased the bluebirds produced songs that were louder and lower-pitched. This tells us that the birds are able to detect the increase in ambient noise levels and respond to try to make themselves heard above the clamour. Additionally, the recordings showed that birds responded in real time increasing the volume of their song as ambient noise levels increased.

For the bluebirds it is the equivalent of a human trying to make themselves heard in a noisy restaurant or nightclub but without the option of leaving.

Of course animals have evolved in habitats that feature noise like waterfalls for example which is why they have the ability to adapt. However, human-generated noise pollution is only going to escalate as the human population increases and there will be a threshold beyond which some species will have difficulties competing. When a species can’t communicate effectively then all activities, including mating, are compromised.

It is worth taking note that out of respect for our fellow species on the planet, at some point, we will have to tone it down.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 05 01t103309.503

Breaking Out of Prison: The Search For Humane Pathways

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 17t142941.179

Adapting to droughts

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 02 21t112255.897

Green Beat: Biodiversity, Solar Dominance & Healthy Neighborhoods

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 02 14t123927.263

Community-based prepping