Thursday, April 03, 2008
I have occasionally heard the odd bird calling at night, but hadn't thought much about it. I was originally a nightbird myself, and right into my early 30s would frequently stay up till dawn, taking strolls around shuttered Dublin or pitch dark Bray Head with similarly inclined friends, chatting into the small hours about all kinds of wonderful nothings. So far as I know, the avian world might have room for its own oddballs, delinquents, perverts etc.
According to the New Scientist, what I have been hearing may be the early signs of an evolutionary shift, as birds species begin to adapt to urban living by singing at night. Apparently, their little voices tend to get drowned by the persistent human cacophony: especially the grey zooshing of early rush-hour traffic. Birds are also altering their calls, singing louder to be heard above the din.
Has anyone heard it yet, the Night Chorus? Patience; the musicians are tuning their instruments.