The Impacts of Sonic Interference on Bird Behavior and Communication

Hey everyone! My name is Meagan Phillips, and I’m a junior majoring in Critical Animal Studies (self-designed). I’m interested in the way humans and animals interact, both at an individual level and on a broader scale. This summer, I’ll be continuing research with Professors John Swaddle and Dana Moseley, who have been collaborating on a project to test the effectiveness of a sonic net on deterring birds from a food source. The sonic net is a device that issues a beam of sound encompassing all of the frequencies that birds use to communicate. Because communication is vital for birds (alarm calls, food calls, territorial and breeding songs), the prediction is that birds will avoid the beam of sound even if it means forsaking a perfectly good food source (in this case, a bird feeder). If it works, the hope is that it can be applied on a larger scale to prevent birds from feeding in agricultural fields and to deter them from skyscrapers, wind turbines, radio towers, and other tall manmade structures during migration.

[Read more…]