Just as the fairy tale of City Mouse and Country Mouse implies that mice have
different lifestyles, new research in the real world indicates birds of a
feather may have different voices depending on where they live.
The Lingque Zuibi, or Collared
Finchbill in English, mainly lives in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia,
Thailand and China's Hong Kong, Hainan Province and eastern coastal areas.
Courtesay of Zhejiang Nature Museum
The Lingque Zuibi, or Collared Finchbill in English, mainly lives in Myanmar,
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and China's Hong Kong, Hainan Province and
eastern coastal areas. Courtesay of Zhejiang Nature Museum
believe that bird "languages" not only vary in different regions, but also show
great differences in suburban and urban areas, China Central Television reports.
Yu Lijiang, professor at the Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy
of Sciences, conducted research in the forested areas of Nanjing, capital of
Jiangsu Province, by recording the songs of a rare bird named lingque zuibi last
Her latest research on recordings of this variety of bird showed that the
song from such birds living in the downtown areas are more high-pitched and
sharper, while suburban birds sing a deeper, more mellow tune.
Yu has also compared the recordings obtained in Nanjing with those she
recorded in other four cities, including Fuzhou, capital of East China's Fujian
Province, and Shanghai.
The comparison showed that the birds in the five cities did seem to have
developed dialects of their own.
After Yu returned to Beijing, she and other experts compared the sound
spectra of the birds in the different cities. The difference was obvious. Yu
told the Jinling Evening News she would visit the forested area again this
spring for further study.
Her research will center on the causal relationship between the rare bird's
different dialects and their heredity.
Yu said she would carry out the research by recording the nestlings of the
species living in Nanjing and compare those voices with those of the species
living in other places.
Yu explained to the Jinling Evening News why the city birds' volume is louder
and the pitch is higher than those of the country birds. She attributed the
difference to the environment. The countryside area is more spacious and less
noisy, so birds need not send out high-pitched and loud sounds to communicate.
The experts said they were building a sound bank for all kinds of rare birds