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Birds sing mobile phone tunes

Diddle-ee, diddle-ee, diddle-ee cock-a-doodle -squawk

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Birds in Denmark are warbling new hi-tech songs after learning and picking up tunes from mobile phone ringtones, according to the Danish Ornithological Association.

Well you could have knocked us down with a feather when we heard that.

This gem landed on Vulture Central's desk yesterday afternoon headlining a press release about ringtones from Danish research outfit Strand Consult.

So we spoke to John Strand because we thought someone was pulling our leg.

No, he said. It's serious. It was even on the main Danish TV news earlier this week, he told us. And he mentioned something about one of the birds caught trilling a ringtone being christened "Nokia".

"You're kidding aren't you?", we said.

"No, no", he said, "it's serious."

Unfortunately, we've still not heard back from the Danish Ornithological Association about their findings.

A nice chap at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said he was unaware of any such cases in the UK but said that birds ripping off mobile phone tunes was feasible.

Starlings, he said, which are closely related to myna birds, are known to mimic sounds although blackbirds and thrushes won't.

Oh, and some British wetland birds are capable of mimicking sounds but because of their remote locations it's unlikely that they would hear enough mobile phone tunes to expand their song repertoire. Which makes sense.

Who ever heard of a twitcher leaving his mobile phone on when bird watching? ®

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