Science News

Birds living near airports are more prone to deafness

The birds that live around the airports show more aggression and chirp as if they have hearing problems. This is the discovery made by a group of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University and the Institute of Biology of Leiden.

The researchers analyzed the Phylloscopus collybita, also known in Italian as luì piccolo, a small passerine bird. In particular, they analyzed populations living near Manchester airport and near Amsterdam Schiphol airport. According to the researchers, they could be suffering from deafness due to the high frequencies emitted by aircraft engine noises.

The researchers also made this connection on the basis of previous studies that had shown that different species of birds reported a variation in chirping in relation to the environmental noise of the areas in which they lived, for example urban areas or along roads.

They also noted higher aggression on the part of Phylloscopus collybita males who live near airports, which makes them consume much more energy than will be available for breeding or defending predators.

According to the researchers, more than 16,000 birds, belonging to more than 100 different species, suffer from hearing loss due to aircraft noise.