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?