The sounds of spring

Traffic & Weather

**** Info via Environment Canada

The sounds of spring

Spring usually heralds warmer weather, blooming flowers, backyard BBQs, and the return of birds’ songs.

Did you know that the natural sounds of nature, bird song especially, play an important role in keeping us connected to our environment? An international team of researchers, led by the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, discovered that the spring songs we are so fond of, are changing – becoming quieter and less diverse in North America and in Europe.

Baltimore oriole, icterus galbula.

To conduct their study, researchers combined citizen science bird monitoring data with recordings of individual species in the wild. Over the last 25 years, they reconstructed the soundscapes of more than 200,000 sites.

Their study found that changes in the bird communities were related to declines in the diversity and intensity of natural soundscapes. Lead author Dr. Simon Butler explained: “Bird song plays an important role in defining the quality of nature experiences but widespread declines in bird populations, and shifts in species’ distributions in response to climate change, mean that the acoustic properties of natural soundscapes are likely to be changing”.

The Yellow Warbler population has shown a moderate decrease since the early 1970s. Climate change may be a concern in the future, as predicted changes in water availability and the affiliated landscape will directly affect the yellow warbler’s preferred habitat.

Given that we mainly “hear” rather than “see” the birds, we will mostly experience the decline in birds’ population by hearing less of them.

For more: Study reveals the shifting sounds of spring.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *