Sparrows of Canada


I ran across a fascinating article in National Geographic about white-throated sparrows across Canada. In the last two decades, these birds have changed one of their calls from a three-note call to a two-note call. In the article, the audios of both calls are included and you can hear the distinct difference.

“‘Although some bird calls undergo slow revolutions, this rapid shift in a bird’s song has never been observed before,’ says Ken Otter, lead author of the study, published July 2 in the journal Current Biology. ‘There’s nothing that we know of that’s spread like this.’”
This new song was first noticed in the late 1990s in northern British Columbia and by 2015 every sparrow west of central Ontario was singing this new tune. It’s still spreading in western Quebec, nearly 2,000 miles from where he had started.

Jeffrey Podos, who studies birdsongs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst says that the pace at which the song is spreading is “…somewhat surprising. It’s like a blue wave.”
That phrase struck me. Sometimes, phenomena in nature parallels or portends events in the world of humans. Is it a synchronicity – or wishful thinking – that may point to a blue wave on election day?



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5 Responses to Sparrows of Canada

  1. Adele says:

    I just played it again and now Simone is here looking very alert and searching like crazy for this bird.

  2. Adele says:

    When I played the video with the bird song my cat Nina jumped up to look at the back of my computer and then demanded to be petted. She never did that before. She is still looking at me soulfully.

  3. Sheila Joshi says:

    Senate! Senate! Senate!

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