Birds imitate mobile phone ring tones

Deutsche Presse Agentur

Moessingen, July 18:

Birds have learnt to imitate the ring tones of the omnipresent mobile phones, say German ornithologists. “The birds have an uncanny ability to mimic these ring tones. This has picked up in tandem with the boom in mobile phone ow-nership,” Richard Schneider of the NABU bird conservation centre near the university city of Tuebingen here said. Jackdaws, starlings and jays were the best mimics, Schneider said adding that even practiced birdwatchers were being fooled by the birds. One reason for the phenomenon was that these birds were increasingly common in the urban environment, even the relatively shy, he said. “There is food and an increasing amount of green space in modern cities.” The birds were simply adapting to their environment in imitating human sounds in what he termed an ‘evolutionary playground’. Many of the more common ring tones are themselves imitations of bird calls.