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Author Miller, M.W.
Title Apparent Effects of Light Pollution on Singing Behavior of American Robins Type Journal Article
Year 2006 Publication The Condor Abbreviated Journal Condor
Volume 108 Issue 1 Pages 130
Keywords American Robin; birds; light pollution; morning chorus; dawn chorus; song; Turdus migratorius; animals; communication
Abstract Astronomers consider light pollution to be a growing problem, however few studies have addressed potential effects of light pollution on wildlife. Sunlight is believed to initiate song in many bird species. If light initiates song, then light pollution may be influencing avian song behavior at a population level. This hypothesis predicts that birds breeding in areas with large amounts of artificial light will begin singing earlier in the day than birds in areas with little artificial light. Birds in highly illuminated areas might begin singing earlier than did birds in those same areas in previous years when artificial light levels were known to be, or were presumably, lower. Also, birds should begin singing earlier within a site on brightly lit nights. In 2002 and 2003 I documented initiation of morning song by breeding American Robins (Turdus migratorius) in areas with differing intensity of artificial nocturnal light. I compared my observations among sites and against historical studies. Robin populations in areas with large amounts of artificial light frequently began their morning chorus during true night. Chorus initiation time, relative to civil twilight, was positively correlated with amount of artificial light present during true night. Robin choruses in areas with little, or presumably little, artificial light have almost never begun during true night, instead appearing to track the onset of civil twilight. Proliferation of artificial nocturnal light may be strongly affecting singing behavior of American Robins at a population level.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
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Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0010-5422 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 39
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Author Nordt, A.; Klenke, R.
Title Sleepless in town--drivers of the temporal shift in dawn song in urban European blackbirds Type Journal Article
Year 2013 Publication PloS one Abbreviated Journal PLoS One
Volume 8 Issue 8 Pages e71476
Keywords Animals; Automobiles; Cities; Ecosystem; Germany; Humans; Light; Male; Noise; Photoperiod; Sleep; Songbirds/*physiology; Urban Population; *Vocalization, Animal; dawn chorus; morning chorus
Abstract Organisms living in urban environments are exposed to different environmental conditions compared to their rural conspecifics. Especially anthropogenic noise and artificial night light are closely linked to urbanization and pose new challenges to urban species. Songbirds are particularly affected by these factors, because they rely on the spread of acoustic information and adjust their behaviour to the rhythm of night and day, e.g. time their dawn song according to changing light intensities. Our aim was to clarify the specific contributions of artificial night light and traffic noise on the timing of dawn song of urban European Blackbirds (Turdus merula). We investigated the onset of blackbird dawn song along a steep urban gradient ranging from an urban forest to the city centre of Leipzig, Germany. This gradient of anthropogenic noise and artificial night light was reflected in the timing of dawn song. In the city centre, blackbirds started their dawn song up to 5 hours earlier compared to those in semi-natural habitats. We found traffic noise to be the driving factor of the shift of dawn song into true night, although it was not completely separable from the effects of ambient night light. We additionally included meteorological conditions into the analysis and found an effect on the song onset. Cloudy and cold weather delayed the onset, but cloud cover was assumed to reflect night light emissions, thus, amplified sky luminance and increased the effect of artificial night light. Beside these temporal effects, we also found differences in the spatial autocorrelation of dawn song onset showing a much higher variability in noisy city areas than in rural parks and forests. These findings indicate that urban hazards such as ambient noise and light pollution show a manifold interference with naturally evolved cycles and have significant effects on the activity patterns of urban blackbirds.
Address Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Conservation Biology, Leipzig, Germany. anja.nordt@ufz.de
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Language English Summary Language Original Title
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ISSN 1932-6203 ISBN Medium
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Notes PMID:23940759; PMCID:PMC3737108 Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 43
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