Traffic noise annoys songbirds to the point of harming them


New research suggests that traffic noise (apart from pollution and general hectic motion) degrades the natural habitat of songbirds, and perhaps other animals. Boise State University biologists created a "phantom road" using speakers to create traffic noise in a natural, roadless songbird habitat.

From the abstract of their scientific paper in PNAS:


Thirty-one percent of the bird community avoided the phantom road. For individuals that stayed despite the noise, overall body condition decreased by a full SD and some species showed a change in ability to gain body condition when exposed to traffic noise during migratory stopover. We conducted complementary laboratory experiments that implicate foraging-vigilance behavior as one mechanism driving this pattern.