Soundbites is your weekly dose of the newest, coolest bioacoustics news, plus other fun stuff, all in bite-size form. A day late and a dollar short this week, folks. Blame my thesis…

Guys, I haven’t got a lot of new bioacoustics news for you this week. I got a great Google alert about a paper called “Not so sexy sounds”, but then my computer thought the link was corrupted and I couldn’t get it for you.

Noise impacts nestling begging in tree swallowsanthropogenic noise has different impacts depending on the species, which is why it’s important to keep studying its effects. Here, tree swallow nestlings increased amplitude and frequency in their begging calls when exposed to white noise; also, when exposed to feeding calls at noisy nests, parents responded with less feeding than at control nests. So noise changed the behavior of both parents and nestlings, and while they were able to compensate and no one was left hungry, it’s not clear if there’s a threshold above which this wouldn’t work anymore.

Fun link of the week: here’s a weird one for you. I was thinking about the acoustics and soundscapes of fall and somehow I ended up googling “pumpkin instrument”. There is an entire musical group devoted to making instruments out of vegetables. They are called, appropriately, the Vegetable Orchestra. Here is a video of them recording one of their albums:

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