Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Thursday, 07.31.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1
 2  3  4  5  6  7  8
 9  10  11  12  13  14  15
 16  17  18  19  20  21  22
 23  24  25  26  27  28  29
 30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Mar 07,2008
Pollution may make birds change their tune
by Bend Weekly News Sources

Nothing like a bird chirp­ing in the morn­ing to re­mind you of nature’s glory, right?

Not quite. A rather creepy new re­search find­ing sug­gests some bird songs are a bit un­natur­al—in­flu­enced by pol­lut­ants, which cause at least one species of birds to change their songs.

The European Starling. Stumus Vulgaris. Courtesy Wash. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

It’s the latest of a number of studies to note that some of pol­lu­tion’s bi­o­log­i­cal ef­fects are not only un­healthy, but bi­zarre. Stud­ies have found con­tam­i­nants caus­ing sex changes, for ex­am­ple, or even pos­sibly rais­ing su­i­cide and child abuse rates.

In the bird study, in­t­er­est­ing­ly, re­search­ers found that the re­vised, more ela­bor­ate tunes were ap­peal­ing to female birds. But the af­fect­ed birds also suf­fered weak im­mune sys­tems, the in­vest­i­gat­ors said.

The sci­en­tists stud­ied male Eu­ro­pe­an star­lings, Stu­mus vul­garis, feed­ing on earth­worms at a sew­age treat­ment works in the south­west U.K. Many of the worms were found to be con­tam­i­nated with chem­i­cals si­m­i­lar to es­tro­gen, a hor­mone in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of sex­u­al char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Af­fect­ed male birds showed marked changes in brain and behavior, in­clud­ing more com­plex songs, which females pre­ferred, the re­search­ers said. And a brain ar­ea re­spon­si­ble for song com­plex­ity, called the high vo­cal cen­tre, was al­so found to be en­larged in the males.

This re­gion is par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive to es­tro­gen, which is known to cause “mas­culi­niza­t­ion” of the song­bird brain, ac­cord­ing to the re­search team. The stu­dy, by Kath­er­ine Bu­chan­an of Car­diff Uni­ver­s­ity in the U.K. and col­leagues, ap­peared Feb. 27 in the re­search jour­nal PLoS One.

Courtesy Public Library of Science and World Science staff

6329 times read

Related news
Gay men likelier to gamble addict­ively, study suggests by World Science posted on Dec 01,2006

Brain stimulation 'awakens' near-unconscious patient by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Aug 03,2007

Biodiversity good for mental health, scientists find by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on May 18,2007

Honey may be best for cough, study finds by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Dec 07,2007

Computers learn 'regret' by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Feb 29,2008

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 16 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?