Category Archives: Science

Birdcasting II

Mating Call Ringtones

From the Mail


Original Story in Sun

! Pretty Annoying Polly

A mobile phone ringtone mimicking parrot!

Parrot mimics polly-phonic phone

UK thread on message board

Article from the Inquirer

England via Denmark

Starlings (Good Metaphors)

Now birds brag by mimicking mobiles

By Chris Gray

Friday, 18 May 2001


The irritation is about to get worse. Already inescapable on the train, at the restaurant and in the office, the sound of a mobile phone ringing is about to destroy the peace hitherto offered by a country walk.

The irritation is about to get worse. Already inescapable on the train, at the restaurant and in the office, the sound of a mobile phone ringing is about to destroy the peace hitherto offered by a country walk.

Male British birds have taken to mimicking the noise made by mobile phone ringtones. And not unlike the first human mobile users, their noise is all to do with bragging about their success and attracting the opposite sex.

The phenomenon has been noticed mainly among starlings ­ distant relatives of the mynah bird ­ and song thrushes, although the blackbird and the marsh warbler are not immune.

Mike Everett, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said birds had long imitated man-made sounds, from the human whistle to car brakes screeching.

“Birds have always imitated mechanical and electronic sounds. Not all of them do it but some are great mimics. About 10 per cent of a starling’s song is mimicry.

“The better they are at a varied song and puffing their chest out, the better they will be at holding their territory and finding a mate. It is a macho thing really,” he said.

Mr Everett said the development could help bird populations if it encouraged more breeding. It would be particularly beneficial for starlings whose population has fallen by about 50 per cent.

There is some relief: the more intricate ringtones are unlikely to be copied by birds, as their range is restricted to more simple tunes.

Picking a Unique ringotne just got much harder


Found article on birds imitating ringtones

Birds in Copenhagen are giving new meaning to the phrase “bird calls.” 

taken from: 

Danish ornithologists say that birds, especially Starlings, have begun incorporating the sound of a ringing cellular phone into their own songs. So far, reports of wireless warbling have been restricted to Copenhagen, where birds seem to favor Nokia’s classic ring tone.

Birds imitating sounds produced by technology is nothing new. They choose simple tunes to reproduce. The standard ring tone on a phone usually comprises any combination of nine tones. And the tunes themselves don’t typically contain harmonies, which are made by playing multiple musical tones at the same time.

Usually, birds copy what they hear the most. Birds in rural areas have added the sound of horses whinnying, lawn mowers and even chainsaws to their repertoires. In cities, birds have added car alarms, the warning beep of a truck backing up and police sirens to their calls, experts say.

Ornithologists expect birds in other cities where cell phone penetration is high to begin adding ring tones to their tunes.

Imagine the possible confusion, says Andrew Smith, spokesman for London-based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. A single ringing phone can already cause a room of mobile phone owners to reach for their pockets.

A few Starlings armed with a Nokia tune crowing on a crowded city block “could bring a place like San Francisco to a stand still,” Smith said.

Starlings, which are found in many areas of the world, in addition to mockingbirds, catbirds, brown thrashers and others, constantly look for new tunes for their songs, which are sung to attract the opposite sex, experts say.

The longer the song, the more macho the bird appears to be, according to Allison Wells, director of outreach for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

“It makes the males who sing that much more attractive,” she said.

But if some mischievous bird manages to indeed force an entire city sidewalk of pedestrians to check on their phones, there is some revenge on the way.

Companies have started offering bird calls as ring tones, Smith said.

“I wonder what would happen if these birds hear those ring tones and think it’s a potential mate,” Smith said.




Les Maitres Fous – Jean Rouch

Watch Jean Rouch : Les maîtres fous – The mad masters in Educational  |  View More Free Videos Online at

A documentary by the French Jean Rouch about spiritual possession in Africa during the colonial age. The possession itself was ‘inspired’ by Western man & technology.

bioblitz or BioBlitz


BioBlitz, also written without capitals bioblitz, is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area . Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a short, usually 24 hour, period of time. There is also a public component to many BioBlitzes, with the goal of getting the public interested in biodiversity. In order to encourage more public participation, these BioBlitzes are often held in urban parks or nature reserves close to cities[1][2][3][4].

Dutch Birding Association, Out Of The Blue – Flight Calls Of Migrants And Vagrants

Audio CD

Disk ID: 407957

Disk length: 42m 15s (57 Tracks)

Original Release Date: 2003

Label: Unknown

View all albums by Dutch Birding Association…

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Tracks & Durations

1. Lesser White-fronted Goose – Dwerggans – Anser erythropus 0:47
2. Siberian White-fronted Goose – Siberische Kolgans – Anser albifrons albifrons 0:42
3. Greenland White-fronted Goose – Groenlandse Kolgans – Anser albifrons flavirostris 1:18
4. Common Crane – Kraanvogel – Grus grus 0:53
5. Demoiselle Crane – Jufferkraanvogel – Anthropoides virgo 1:11
6. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater – Groene Bijeneter – Merops persicus 0:30
7. European Bee-eater – Bijeneter – Merops apiaster 1:17
8. Calandra Lark – Kalanderleeuwerik – Melanocorypha calandra 0:58
9. Bimaculated Lark – Bergkalanderleeuwerik – Melanocorypha bimaculata 0:40
10. White-winged Lark – Witvleugelleeuwerik – Melanocorypha leucoptera 1:08
11. Black Lark – Zwarte Leeuwerik – Melanocorypha yeltoniensis 0:45
12. Greater Short-toed Lark – Kortteenleeuwerik – Calandrella brachydactyla 0:52
13. Lesser Short-toed Lark – Kleine Kortteenleeuwerik – Calandrella rufescens 0:34
14. Crested Lark – Kuifleeuwerik – Galerida cristata 0:31
15. Wood Lark – Boomleeuwerik – Lullula arborea 0:32
16. Eurasian Skylark – Veldleeuwerik – Alauda arvensis 1:08
17. Horned Lark – Strandleeuerik – Eremophila alpestris 0:53
18. Richard’s Pipit – Grote Pieper – Anthus richardi 1:02
19. Blyth’s Pipit – Mongoolse Pieper – Anthus godlewskii 0:42
20. Tany Pipit – Duinpieper – Anthus campestris 0:21
21. Olive-backed Pipit – Siberische Boompieper – Anthus hodgsoni 0:54
22. Tree Pipit – Boompieper – Anthus trivialis 0:22
23. Pechora Pipit – Petsjorapieper – Anthus gustavi 0:43
24. Meadow Pipit – Graspieper – Anthus pratensis 1:21
25. Red-throated Pipit – Roodkeelpieper – Anthus cervinus 1:16
26. Rock Pipit – Oeverpieper – Anthus petrosus 0:58
27. Water Pipit – Waterpieper – Anthus spinoletta 0:38
28. Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit – Anthus rubescens japonicus 0:41
29. Blue-headed Wagtail – Gele Kwikstaart – Motocilla flava 0:19
30. Black-headed Wagtail – Balkankwikstaart – Motocilla feldegg 0:15
31. Citrine Wagtail – Citroenkwikstaart – Motocilla citreola 0:30
32. Bohemian Waxwing – Pestvogel – Bombycilla garrulus 0:42
33. Edar Waxwing – Cerderpestvogel – Bombycilla cedrorum 0:35
34. White’s Thrush – Goudlijster – Zoothera aurea 0:29
35. Ring Ouzel – Beflijster – Turdus torquatus 0:48
36. Common Blackbird – Merel – Turdus merula 0:43
37. Dusky Thrush – Bruine Lijster – Turdus naumanni eunomus 0:16
38. Black-throated Thrus – Zwartkeellijster – Turdus ruficollis atrogularis 0:41
39. Fieldfare – Kramsvogel – Turdus pilaris 0:53
40. Song Thrush – Zanglijster – Turdus philomelos 1:05
41. Redwing – Koperwiek – Turdus iliacus 0:38
42. Mistle Thrus – Grote Lijster – Turdus viscivorus 0:18
43. American Robin – Roodvorstlijster – Turdus migratorius 0:29
44. Lapland Longspur – IJsgors – Calcarius lapponicus 0:57
45. Snow Bunting – Sneeuwgors – Plectrophenax nivalis 0:50
46. Black-faced Bunting – Maskergors – Emberiza spodocephala 0:35
47. Pine Bunting – Witkopgors – Emberiza leucocephalos 0:59
48. Yellohammer – Geelgors – Emberiza citrinella 1:12
49. Cirl Bunting – Cirlgors – Emberiza cirlus 0:38
50. Ortolan Bunting – Ortolaan – Emberiza hortulana 0:19
51. Cretzschmar’s Bunting – Bruinkeelortolaan – Emberiza caesia 0:34
52. Rustic Bunting – Bosgors – Emberiza rustica 0:33
53. Little Bunting – Dwerggors – Emberiza pusilla 0:38
54. Yellow-breasted Bunting – Wilgengors – Emberiza aureola 0:26
55. Common Reed Bunting – Rietgors – Emberiza schoeniclus 0:47
56. Pallas’s Reed Bunting – Pallas’ Rietgors – Emberiza pallasi 0:48
57. Corn Bunting – Grauwe Gors – Emberiza calandra 0:10

Knowles EK3029c


This is the microphone element recommended by Old Bird for recording night migrating thrushes, sparrows, and warblers. It is excellent for recording flight calls whose frequency is above 2 kHz, and note that the C1 capacitor is built in. The frequency response of the element can be seen on the Knowles Electronics EK series webpage. The element has a 12 dB per octave rolloff below 2 kHZ, thus greatly reducing rumble from wind, road, or aviation noise. High frequency sensitivity begins to drop off above 6 kHz but this is largely compensated for by the 6 dB gain in sensitivity from the dinner plate reflector.