Different kind of tweet: Study says oilpatch causes sparrows to sing a new song

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A study by a University of Manitoba researcher suggests that noisy oilpatch equipment causes songbirds to change their tune.

The published paper looks at the effects of pumpjacks and compressor stations on the songs of savannah sparrows near Brooks in southern Alberta.

The study found birds change their songs in response to different kinds and volumes of noise coming from machines.

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Lead author Miya Warrington says birds use different parts of their songs to convey different messages.

Those messages range from territorial warnings to advertising for mates.

She says it’s not clear what impact the forced changes are having on the ability of the sparrows to convey those important messages.

But she adds her findings are consistent with other studies on the impact of artificial noise on birds.

The Canadian Press

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