Thursday, April 03, 2008

Night Chorus

Moonbird 2

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.


Dave King said...

I have been hearing the birds' choruses later in the evening and earlier in the morning for some time now. Apparently, another factor is the shrinking size of the woodlands: it is becoming increasingly difficult for the birds to get away from the urban noises by retreating further into the woods.

Mark Granier said...

Hi Dave,

Yes, I think I read that shrinking habitat was another factor.

sean lysaght said...

That moonbird is another gem in the Granier gallery.

Ms Baroque said...

Okay this is weird. I just had an email notification of that last comment, as if this were my blog. Sorry Mark! But I guess you got the comment anyway. Now I have to figure out how to write to Blogger.

Hope you guys are all fine...

Mark Granier said...

Thanks Séan. It's a detail from a much larger photo. I'll send you the link.

Katy, I sent you an email. Poor old Blogger sounds a wee bit confused, or maybe annoyed; might have something to do with your abandoning it for that other site.