Popular Science recently published an article about a study conducted during the COVID shutdown on bird song. Anecdotally, people around the world reported more wildlife appearing in cities, but was that really a difference in their behavior or in our attention?
“In San Francisco, birders pondered a similar question. “We received many anecdotal accounts of birdsong being more noticeable,” Pam Young, executive director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, told Popular Science in an email. But the question remained: was that just because traffic noise was down and people were paying more attention? Or were the birds actually changing their tunes?
Now, a new study in Science finds that at least one bird—a common sparrow—did indeed shift its sounds rapidly as San Francisco’s usual bustle became a whisper in April.”