Hans Slabbekoorn


“It could very well be that noise pollution is interfering with reproductive decisions by females.”

Hans Slabbekoorn travels across the Netherlands recording birdsong in suburban neighbourhoods, bustling city streets and whining superhighways. Slabbekoorn, a behavioural ecologist, has made a startling discovery: birds are desperately pitching their song to higher frequencies to compete against a drastically different noise landscape. Many of us dismiss the calls of the songbird as little else but beautiful music but a male bird will use his song to attract a mate and mark his territory. With cities continuing to grow and industry invading their natural habitats, what happens if the birds can no longer communicate other amongst the noise?

Dr. Hans Slabbekoorn is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biology Leiden, The Netherlands.