There is a bird that comes and sits and sings in the tree in our back garden. It comes every day and tweets out its tune. There is nothing strange about that, I know. What is strange though is the way that its singing perfectly – and I mean perfectly – mimics the old-style reversing alarms that bin lorries used to have in the late 1990s.
The first time that I heard it I really thought that it could be an old J-reg Seddon reaking of last week’s cabbage. But it wasn’t. Instead there was this little bird fluttering from branch to branch. Just as well really, as I didn’t fancy having my car blocked in – that lane is too narrow for a real lorry.
It made me think about the calls that birds make. They must each learn their calls from their parents, by listening to them. That would have been all well and good for millenia, until humans came up with glorious noise pollution. Suddenly there were mimickable sounds that were being blasted out day after day. The birds are listening it seems, and they are picking it up. That means this is a bird that will never sing its proper cry again. Nor will its chicks. How many bird calls are being lost to this steady increase in noise pollution? I suspect that give it a hundred years and bird calls might be very different sounding indeed.