Thursday, January 25, 2018, 5:54 PM -
Whether in cities or in oil fields, we can often hear the chirps and trills of the birds that share our spaces.
But birdsong is more than just a soothing backdrop for our activities, it is a code that birds use to tell other birds about themselves, including details about the singer’s species, identity — and sexiness.
Humans, on the other hand, fill the air and land with their own noise, disrupting the communication between birds and other animals. This means that crucial information that an animal uses for hunting, keeping an eye on predators and maintaining contact with mates and group members may be lost.
Scientists like me can figure out which aspects of a bird’s life are under threat by listening for changes to specific parts of a bird’s song. Birdsong, in a sense, is a message in a bottle.