Study Finds That Traffic Noise Can Slow Down Growth of Baby Birds

A new study published in the journal Science is giving bird lovers a reason to use their cars less and might do the same for you. According to the study, traffic noise can slow down the growth of baby birds.

There have been a number of studies in the past that showed how traffic noise and other forms of noise pollution can cause stress for birds and make it harder for them to communicate. In order to further examine the effects of noise pollution on birds, experts at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, launched an experiment that included exposing zebra finch eggs to various levels of noise.

The first group of eggs was kept in silence; the second one was exposed to the sounds of the zebra finch song, while the third one was exposed to the sounds of traffic noise. After the period of five days, the eggs that were exposed to traffic noise hatched at a 20% lower rate.

Additionally, chicks that hatched from eggs exposed to noise pollution were noticeably smaller and lighter compared to the first and second groups of chicks.

“Sound has a much stronger and more direct impact on bird development than we knew before,” said Dr Mylene Mariette, bird communication expert and co-author of the study via Guardian. “It would be wise to work more to reduce noise pollution.”

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