BMCC Science Professor Discovers That City Birds Are Changing Their Tune – to Be Heard Over Urban Noise
NEW YORK, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) Science Professor David Krauss was recently interviewed on CUNY TV’s Science and U show on the subject of spring love – or more specifically, how the mating habits of birds are impacted by urban noise.
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“A number of species of birds have developed or evolved a repertoire of modified songs that seem more effective in this new environment,” says Professor Krauss. “In some species, the low frequencies are lost and song complexity is increased, in an effort by males to be heard clearly by females.”
In other words, male birds are adapting their song, to be heard over automobile and air traffic, high-volume radios, barking dogs, and echoes from apartment buildings.
“The males with characteristics in their songs that make them more audible, produce more offspring, and pass on more of their genes to the next generation,” says Professor Krauss, who leads BMCC student field trips into New York City parks, exploring biodiversity and the parks’ role in the urban setting.
Often, students he has mentored continue to pursue the natural sciences. He and two BMCC alums – Rebecca Panko, a biological science major at City College, and Kimberly Thompson, a graduate student at Columbia University – are preparing a paper with the working title, “An Environmental Analysis of New York City Parks and Their Biodiversity,” which they will present at the 12th Northeast Natural History Conference in Syracuse, New York, April 2012.
To learn more, watch Professor Krauss’s interview, part of the episode, “Science and Love,” (Professor Krauss’s segment starts at 11:22 in the video):
Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) of the City University of New York (CUNY) enrolls over 24,000 degree-seeking and 10,000 Continuing Education students a year, awarding associate degrees in 28 fields.
Contact: Lynn McGee
SOURCE Borough of Manhattan Community College