Birds have distinctive urban accents

Urban silvereyes have distinctive accents. Photo by Dominique Potvin.

A recent report in The Age has described some research by Dominique Potvin, Kirsten Parris and Raoul Mulder on how the songs of urban silvereyes are different from those of their country cousins. They call more slowly, at a higher pitch, and use different notes.

This research is part of Dominique’s recently-completed PhD on how urban noise affects song learning, development and evolution in silvereyes. Her studies on this species have taken her across Australia and onto numerous Pacific islands.

Publications related to this research are:

Potvin, D.A., Parris, K.M. and Mulder, R.A. (2011) Geographically pervasive effects of urban noise on frequency and syllable rate of songs and calls in silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). Proc. R. Soc. B 278, 2464-2469.

Potvin, D.A., Parris, K.M. and Mulder, R.A. (in press) Limited genetic differentiation between acoustically divergent populations of urban and rural silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). Evolutionary Ecology.

Potvin, D.A. and Parris, K.M. (in press) Song convergence in multiple urban populations of silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). Ecology and Evolution.

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