Science: When COVID-19 silenced cities, birdsong recaptured its former glory

Science: When COVID-19 silenced cities, birdsong recaptured its former glory. “White-crowned sparrows are tough birds, able to survive the hustle and bustle of many North American cities. But growing noise pollution has forced males to sing louder, less effective songs in order to be heard by rivals and mates. During the pandemic lockdown this spring, the background din quieted. A new study shows that, in just a matter of weeks, the sparrows’ songs recovered the acoustic quality of songs sung decades ago, when city life was less noisy.”

The MIT Press Reader: A Complete History of Collecting and Imitating Birdsong

The MIT Press Reader: A Complete History of Collecting and Imitating Birdsong. “Twenty-five years ago I sought for the first time to collect, sift, and standardize these wonderful, bizarre words with their anarchic spellings, absurd pronunciations, and uncertain meanings. That project culminated in ‘Aaaaw to Zzzzzd: The Words of Birds,’ the appendice to which is featured below. Here, we see the history of alternative attempts to collect bird songs and sounds, from musical composition through recording devices to duck calls, bird organs, singing bird automata, and varieties of bird clock.”

Turing Tweets Into Literal Twittering

Okay, then: Turning tweets into literal twittering. “Scientists in Brazil are using a genetic algorithm to create a realistic soundscape of birdsong that can be triggered by updates from the micro-blogging service, Twitter, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Details of the computer model which mimics the behavior of a bird’s songbox, its ‘syrinx’, to create realistic sounds are published this month in the International Journal of Arts and Technology.”