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The researchers took into account the behavior of the great tit (parus major) in the vicinity of the Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport, where cameras were installed in feeders exposed to aircraft noise.
The results of the study, in which the Research Group on Applied Instrumentation and Acoustics of the Polytechnic University of Madrid has collaborated, showed that these birds prolonged their state of vigilance in the face of excess noise to the detriment of their diet.
This behavior shows that noise pollution directly interferes with animal communication, which in the case of birds even reduces their song and the sounds emitted by chickens to call their parents in demand for food.
According to Diego Gil, a researcher at the MNCN, "when there is a lot of noise the usefulness of the acoustic channel is reduced, which decreases the ability to detect possible predators and to communicate, it is as if the birds were momentarily deaf."
And that hearing impairment is compensated by chickadees with an alert attitude. "With this research we have verified how the visual surveillance time of the great tit soars when the planes take off, while the feeding activity is relegated" to the background.
In this way, he added, "our study shows how organisms can flex their behavior to adapt to new situations and habitats imposed by man" and are capable of responding to adverse conditions such as climate change.
Diego Gil has clarified, however, that it is still too early to know how these changes in their behavior can affect birds when facing the risk of predation and changes in their diet.