From the New York Times with photos by Richard Bailey
“They might be called the “rats of the sky,” but Charles Darwin certainly saw something in pigeons. It turns out the father of evolution saw in the bird an amazing variety of variation in color, shape and form. Richard Bailey, a photographer based in London, honored the 150th anniversary since the publication of “On the Origin of Species” and the 200th anniversary in 2009 of Charles Darwin’s birth by photographing some of the pigeon breeds that played such an important part in Darwin’s work.”
Aaaahhhhh so much variation from your lowly common pigeon. As much as people complain about them all the time, I will still love them regardless.
And I remember reading the article about the huge variation in them last week at work. I wish I remembered to save the link to that article, but the one they give you here the link is pretty good too. So enjoy folks.
Apparently you can make a “pshhshshshshssh” sound and attract birds’ attention. The person in the video says it’s a stress call. I don’t know if that is what it truly is, but I think I’ll give it a try the next time I hear chickadees outside. Seriously.
I think in addition to my side goal of becoming a pool shark, learning to how do bird calls would be pretty sweet. Though I can’t even whistle, so who knows how the hell I’m going to accomplish bird calls. Like I said, side goal/project…thing.
Thanks to listeninginstruments, I have stumbled upon the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library. Oh. My. Lord. Do you know just how excited I am?
What am I saying. You probably don’t. No matter. Imma just sit here and go through a whole bunch of Western bird species and…more for the next…Oh. I don’t know. Hour. Maybe Two. Though I really ought to be working on art or doing something more productive than this.
So far, my favorites are the Nashville Warbler (I’ve always wondered which bird made that call on nice peaceful days outside) and the Hermit Thrush. Really give the Hermit Thrush a listen.
“Urban birds sing differently and at a higher frequency than woodland birds in an effort to penetrate the wall of constant noise produced by traffic, machines and human activity. However, architecture also has a profound affect on their songs.”
Interesting that no matter what, birds need to take into account things that obstruct or create distortion/echoing when communicating. However, I wonder if it can work the other way, where birds may take advantage of the acoustics of different buildings and structures to possibly amplify their calls.
I would also like to point out how the article focuses mainly on frequency rather than amplitude. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but frequency determines pitch, and amplitude determines volume. So I think the article title is misleading, and would support the conclusion the author believes people would jump to. Perhaps a better title would be “Birds sing higher amidst the noise and structures of the urban jungle”