12 August 2021
On Monday when I wrote about the handsome trig (red-headed bush cricket) that sings loudly at 7000 Hertz, I mentioned that upper range hearing loss prevents me from hearing him. Hearing aids help a little but nothing can fix it. My hearing will never return to its youthful ability.
Birds don’t have this problem. If the loss is in their inner ear, their bodies repair the damage. Learn more in this vintage article: Birds Can Recover Lost Hearing.
Perhaps birds can recover their hearing because their lives depend on it. Gene Henderson reminded me of a high-pitched danger call that American robins make. At 7200 to 8400 Hertz it’s now outside my hearing range. Can you hear the four calls in the recording below at 2,5,8 and 11 seconds? They look like checkmarks on the sonogram.
(photo by Joel Kluger on Flickr, recording by Kate St. John)