The Hills are Alive with the Sounds of Cell Phones....
CANBERRA -- The electronic tweeting of mobile phones is becoming so widespread in Australia, some birds are mimicking the sound as part of their mating and territorial songs, an expert said on Tuesday. Australia has six so-called mimic birds, which commonly imitate sounds in nature, particularly other bird calls, as part of their mating and territorial displays. With one of the highest rates of mobile phones per head of population in the world, common Australian mimic birds such as the bower birds and lyre birds are increasingly often hearing the ringing of mobile phones in rural areas, according to Queensland Museum bird expert, Mr Greg Czechura. "It's a phenomenon associated with things like picnic grounds and national parks where bower birds live next to increasing urbanisation and rural development," Mr Czechura told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio. "It's the males that are largely doing it, it means there is a male that is up to date, on the ball and has the latest sounds," he said. "For Australia's lyre bird, considered the world's greatest mimic, a mobile phone ring is just the latest in a bizarre medley that bird experts have recorded including imitations of the click and whir of cameras, the buzz of chain saws and even the roar of motorcycles," Mr. Czechura added.-- as heard on the fabulous NPR program Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me
I just discovered this page because of the link to my website birds page right above!
Here's a new beep speek experience I just had. Living in South Florida, I've just gone through Hurricane Wilma and lost power for days, along with a zillion others. Luckily my electricity is back now (otherwise I would not be writing this!), but after the power had been out for a few days, I started hearing this odd beeping every 20 or 30 seconds. Not the smoke alarm, that was the only light in the whole place that was still on. I walked around and the beep seemed to be coming first from one direction, then another. Very mysterious! Finally I traced it down to a low battery on one of my cordless phones, which were not working due to the lack of AC, even though phone service was still on (Goddess Bless those old Trimlines!) I guess after a few days of not recharging, the battery goes down even though I obviously was not using that phone. Had to unplug the battery to get it to stop, taking the phone off the hook was not effective. I guess I could have used the phone receiver for a game of Marco Polo!
Thanks for a very interesting page, I shall pass it along to others!
Laura Sue, the Silver Nightingale