SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gas & oil drilling noise harmful to birds in forests

Gas & oil drilling has many impacts on birds and other wildlife including the ills associated with roads built to drilling areas and the heavy truck traffic on these roads (adding both noise and running over/into birds). A new study finds that the noise associated with gas & oil drilling, in this case, the noise from compressors (but drilling rigs make a lot of noise also) has been found to reduce pairing success.

"Loud ambient noise affects the sex lives of birds, a new study suggests. Man-made noise is increasing in the wild. Because birds communicate mainly by sound, loud environments interfere with their communications and reduces pairing by almost 15 percent. . . . . Bayne and colleagues compared the pairing success of ovenbirds, Seiurus aurocapilla—small birds named for building a domed nest with a side entrance—in noisy compressor stations with noiseless areas in the boreal forest region of Alberta, Canada. Compressor stations generate pressure in pipelines to keep natural gas and oil flowing from wells. Ovenbird pairing success was 92 percent in noiseless well pads but was reduced to 77 percent at compressor sites, the researchers note in the online early issue of the Journal of Applied Ecology."

This great photo of an Ovenbird that had been captured in a mistnet is from the Clinch River Environmental Studies Organization, a Tennessee organization, website (

Overbirds, though fairly uncommon, are found in a number of areas of southeast Colorado. Read the full article


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