Carlee Skarin, Junior Islands High School Savannah, Georgia Scientific Research Program
Abstract Anthropogenic Noise Impacts Songbird Reproductive Success in Savannah, Georgia
Anthropogenic noise can interrupt essential songbird communication and possibly cause damage to embryos and nestlings. Many human activities interfere with bird communication frequencies, as birds communicate between a frequency range of 1.5-4.0 kHz. Noise pollution can limit a bird’s ability to communicate with other members of its species. Anthropogenic noise negatively impacts the bird’s ability to make calls for mating and reproduction, foraging, and alerting about predation. We recorded anthropogenic noise at various breeding sites using the Decibel 10th application on an iPhone 6. We compared the number of eggs and noise levels in each breeding site. The number of eggs per nest was significantly greater in the grassy habitat than the forest edge and water habitats (one-way ANOVA; p<0.0002). Anthropogenic noise was significantly lower in the grassy habitat (one-way ANOVA; p=0.0015). Post hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test indicated that the grassy habitat was significantly different than the forest habitat with regard to both number of eggs and noise levels. However, the water habitat did not significantly differ from the grass or forest edge. This study can lead to important decisions about songbird and habitat conservation and protection from negative human influences.