Birds Sing Differently in Cities

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When songbirds move to cities, they change their tune, research shows.

At least that is true for the great tit, a small bird with a yellow breast and belly. Research on the great tit in 10 European cities, including London and Paris, showed that in every case, their singing was different than the great tit singing in nearby forests.

The city bird songs were faster, shorter, and at a higher pitch. The researchers believe city birds change their singing to drown out the background noise created by cars and other city noises. City noises apparently disrupt the exchange of vital information contained in their normal country songs, such as when the males sing to attract females.