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| Last Updated:: 22/08/2016

As noise breeds trouble, migratory birds take flight








Siberian cranes haven't been flying to India since 2001. Experts believe that the level of noise in Indian cities is a major cause. Birders believe that in the long term, certain other species will also start giving urban areas a miss in the future.



"Noise affects both resident and migratory birds," avers Delhi birder Anand Arya. "Noise not only disturbs their sleeping patterns, but also their breeding. Noise pollution can cause immense stress to birds and this may lead to an alteration of established migratory routes." Like the Siberian crane, other species too are threatened.



"Certain birds may start nesting in new places altogether to avoid disturbances during breeding, and that is a worrying sign," adds Arya.



A study has found that due to increase in man-made noises, the pairing of birds has gone down by almost 15% in cities as they are unable to communicate efficiently in loud environments. It was observed that the male's song was drowned out, reducing the number of females that could hear him.



Birds are known to vary their song frequency to adjust to loud noise environments, especially in urban areas, but experts believe not all species are able to adapt. As Faiyaz Khudsar, scientist-in-charge at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, points out, "Vocalisation plays an important role in the reproduction, interaction and survival of birds. However, birds like house sparrows which use low frequency to communicate, suffer in noisy areas."



Vinod Goel confirms that if birds can't hear their songs because of noise in the vicinity, they change their nesting places. Moreover, in such places, when the young chicks hatch, they are unable to call out to the mother and be heard.



Goel also says that interference from electronics and radio waves and the constant noise disrupt the internal magnetic compass of migratory birds, affecting their flight paths and reproduction as well.







Source: The Times of India