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Even low-level PCBs change bird songs

Chris Merkord

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For her doctoral thesis, Sara DeLeon conducted a study that found that even low levels of PCBs change bird songs.
It may not kill them outright, but low-level PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) contamination disrupts how some birds sing their songs, report Cornell researchers.


Their seven-year study is published in the September issue of the science journal PLOS ONE.


“PCBs are changing behavior in subtle but important ways that we’re only beginning to recognize,” says lead author Sara DeLeon, Ph.D. ’12, who did the research for her doctorate and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Drexel University.


Read more: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/09/even-low-level-pcbs-change-bird-songs

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In some environments songbirds exhibit inconsistency in their songs which may be caused by non-lethal levels of contaminants that persist in the sediments of the Hudson River region. Biologists studied songbirds that nest along the Hudson River valley, a region with legacy levels of PCBs as a result of decades of electronics manufacturing upriver. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic chemical pollutants with demonstrated detrimental toxic and developmental effects on humans and wildlife.nUl5mMxdmI0


Read the full article on ScienceDaily

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