A Quieter World Has Made the Sparrow’s Song More Alluring to Mates

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You’ve probably seen a headline or read an article about how, in 2020, the natural world seems to have righted itself in a few ways.

There’s less pollution, there are fewer people driving, and in general, nature really seems to be enjoying their time free from human machines.

It’s not really surprising, if you think about it!

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Scientists have dubbed the relative silence “anthropause,” which has led to an increase in wildlife sightings and a short-term reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

And listen to this – even sparrows, the world’s most underwhelming birds, are getting sexier. The reason is that they’ve basically had to scream to be heard over all of the other ambient city noise, but without the competing background sounds, they can really focus on their singing.

Their song has turned almost soulful, and I can only imagine the lady sparrows are loving it.

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Research shows that they do prefer the softer, lower notes that can be heard not that the noise pollution in some major cities has fallen as much as 50%.

The effect, said lead researcher Elizabeth Derryberry, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Tennessee, has been great.

“These birds use their songs to defend breeding territories and attract mates, therefore any change in their mating songs will likely affect reproductive success.”


A whole bunch more sparrow females are going to swoon, more guy sparrows are going to get lucky, and we’re all going to get more little babies come spring.

Scientists believe that, as lockdowns continue to ease and the pandemic hopefully becomes a thing of the past, their songs will return to “normal” within a year or two.

It was nice while it lasted. At least, it was for the sparrows.

What do you think about this news?

Let us know in the comments!