Pollution affects starling songs

This video says about itself:

Juvenile Starlings drinking and bathing in a seed tray.

Filmed in a garden in Cheshire, UK, on the 11th of July, 2006.

Watch for the starling surfing on another one, at 1 minute and 3 seconds into the video!

At 2 minutes, 43 seconds, the camera shakes – this is a starling landing on the camera! He takes off again at 2 mins 49.

From World Science:

Pollution may make birds change their tune

Feb. 28, 2008

Courtesy Public Library of Science and World Science staff

Nothing like a bird chirp­ing in the morn­ing to re­mind you of nature’s glory, right?

Maybe not quite. A rather creepy new re­search find­ing sug­gests some bird songs are a bit un­natur­al—in­flu­enced by pol­lut­ants, which cause at least one species of birds to change their songs.

It’s the latest of a number of studies to note that some of pol­lu­tion’s bi­o­log­i­cal ef­fects are not only un­healthy, but bi­zarre. Stud­ies have found con­tam­i­nants caus­ing sex changes, for ex­am­ple, or even pos­sibly rais­ing su­i­cide and child abuse rates.

In the bird study, in­t­er­est­ing­ly, re­search­ers found that the re­vised, more ela­bor­ate tunes were ap­peal­ing to female birds. But the af­fect­ed birds also suf­fered weak im­mune sys­tems, the in­vest­i­gat­ors said.

The sci­en­tists stud­ied male Eu­ro­pe­an star­lings, Stu­mus vul­garis, feed­ing on earth­worms at a sew­age treat­ment works in the south­west U.K. Many of the worms were found to be con­tam­i­nated with chem­i­cals si­m­i­lar to es­tro­gen, a hor­mone in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of sex­u­al char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Singing to females makes male birds’ brains happy: here.

2 thoughts on “Pollution affects starling songs

  1. Pingback: Canada, Egyptian, and grey lag geese | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Female songbirds’ songs, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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