THE EUROPEAN ROBIN (ERITHACUS RUBECULA) AND ITS NOCTURNAL SONG BEHAVIOUR BENEATH STREET LAMPS, A REVIEW OF THEORIES TO THIS BEHAVIOUR, Dissertation by Olivia N. Masi, 2011

Abstract

 

The European robin (Erithacus rubecula) is often observed singing late at night illuminated by a street lamp.  It is not a new behaviour, though the reasons for it are still unknown.  Many studies look at the robin’s increasingly earlier dawn chorus, but that is a different end of the night.  Studies on the behavioural effects of artificial lighting on other taxa reveal that specific lamp types can be detrimental to circadian rhythms, phenology, physiology, metabolism, health, migration, and orientation.  It is hoped that this review highlights the importance of understanding the effects of ecological light and noise pollution on both individual species and their ecosystems.  This research project puts forward and discusses in detail five possible theories to the robin’s nocturnal song behaviour: time changes to honest signaling; competing with noise; plasticity in active periods; larger eyes are more sensitive; and photoperiod sensitivity.  Each theory is possible and emphasizes the lack of knowledge and research on urban wildlife.  Of all the man-made pollutants, light pollution is the simplest to rectify, so this project makes simple recommendations on policy, lamp design, and public awareness and attitudes. 

DISSERTATION 1

DISSERTATION 2

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About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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3 Responses to THE EUROPEAN ROBIN (ERITHACUS RUBECULA) AND ITS NOCTURNAL SONG BEHAVIOUR BENEATH STREET LAMPS, A REVIEW OF THEORIES TO THIS BEHAVIOUR, Dissertation by Olivia N. Masi, 2011

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