Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Environmental Science Seminar Series: Why do birds sing at night?

Dr Jennifer Foote of Algoma University presents In the still of the night: Nocturnal singing by two diurnal passerines.

Abstract

Many diurnal birds sing sporadically or regularly at night; however, the functions of nocturnal song are not well-understood. Foote’s lab studies the nocturnal song of ovenbirds and white-throated sparrows in Northern Ontario, using both observational and experimental studies to better understand why birds sing at night. Results show clear seasonal and nightly patterns of singing activity and suggest an intersexual function, and also that song output relates to both light levels and weather.