Wildfires cause songbird ‘dialect’ to change

Hermit warblers tend to sing the same melodies as their neighbours – until blazes force them to flee

The species often share a single, dominant song within the same geographic area
The species often share a single, dominant song within the same geographic area

Songbirds dislocated by wildfires influence the “dialects” of birds in nearby areas, scientists have discovered.

Hermit warblers, small perching birds native to US Pacific Coast states, typically sing from the same songsheet as other members of their species that live in the same region.

While warblers use a repertoire of complex songs to defend their territory, when it comes to mating calls the amorous birds tend to share a single, formulaic melody with their neighbours.

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