Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Birds vary songs by habitat

Birds Songs in ChinaJust as the fairy tale of City Mouse and Country Mouse implies that mice have different lifestyles, new research in the real world indicates birds of a feather may have different voices depending on where they live.

The Lingque Zuibi, or Collared Finchbill in English, mainly lives in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and China's Hong Kong, Hainan Province and eastern coastal areas. Courtesay of Zhejiang Nature Museum

Experts now believe that bird "languages" not only vary in different regions, but also show great differences in suburban and urban areas, China Central Television reports.

Yu Lijiang, professor at the Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, conducted research in the forested areas of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, by recording the songs of a rare bird named lingque zuibi last June.

Her latest research on recordings of this variety of bird showed that the song from such birds living in the downtown areas are more high-pitched and sharper, while suburban birds sing a deeper, more mellow tune.

After Yu returned to Beijing, she and other experts compared the sound spectra of the birds in the different cities. The difference was obvious. Yu told the Jinling Evening News she would visit the forested area again this spring for further study.

Her research will center on the causal relationship between the rare bird's different dialects and their heredity.

The Jinling Evening News why the city birds' volume is louder and the pitch is higher than those of the country birds. She attributed the difference to the environment. The countryside area is more spacious and less noisy, so birds need not send out high-pitched and loud sounds to communicate.

The experts said they were building a sound bank for all kinds of rare birds in China.

[ Source : from ]
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