Pump Up the Volume

To overcome increased noise in cities, urban nightingales have
to sing louder to find mates. In fact, the birds sing up to 14
decibels louder to rise above traffic noise, according to a recent
study by the Free University of Berlin.

This is becoming a problem in Europe, where labor regulations
forbid exposing workers to sounds louder than 87 decibels without
ear protection. The nightingales have been reported to sing at up
to 95 decibels.

The UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds does not think
that this is a problem, however. ‘Breeding levels for some birds
are lower close to roads,’ said the society’s spokesperson.
Therefore it is a good sign that the birds are increasing their
volume to attract mates.

Reprinted from ‘Environmental News of the Weird’ in the
radical environmental journal
EarthFirst! (Sept./Oct.
2004). Subscriptions: $25/yr. (6 issues) from Box 3023, Tucson, AZ

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