Bird call tweets go viral
A BIRDSONG that “went viral” has been tracked by scientists for the first time.
Experts noticed that traditional tweets of whitethroated sparrows in parts of Canada had been gradually replaced by songs with different endings.
The 20-year study found how one rare song spread nearly 2,000 miles, possibly due to randy males picking up regional dialects from breeding grounds far away.
The analysis found a traditional finish with three notes was wiped out in favour of a two-note finale.
Professor Ken Otter, of the University of Northern British Columbia, said: “One rare sparrow song ‘went viral.’ As far as we know, it’s unprecedented.”