Urban noise ‘killing baby house sparrows’

Mark Kinver, reporting for the BBC:

“In our case, we saw that the birds did not feed the chicks as well as the birds in the quiet area – this was a novel idea that had not been shown before,” Dr Schroeder said. “Obviously, chick provision is strongly linked to chick survival because if they do not get fat then they die.” Noise seemed to interrupt the communication between the young birds and their parents.

I’ve heard about studies that say some bird species aren’t affected by noise pollution, but I’ve always been a bit skeptical. How can living near, say, a freeway not affect you? I’ll bet every species with ears has some part of their life history that’s impacted by noise pollution.

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  1. Is urban-noise-killing-baby-house-sparrows? Is the sparrow chick mortality-indicator equivalent to using canaries in years gone by as warning indicators in mines?
    The impact of background noise on the health and wellbeing of urban dwellers is an under researched topic. There is inference based evidence that there are people whose sleep patterns are more adversely affected more by pitch and frequency rather than loudness alone.