Male greater prairie-chickens adjust their vocalizations in the presence of wind turbine noise

Cara E. Whalen, Mary Bomberger Brown, Joann McGee, Larkin A. Powell, Edward J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The potential for wind energy facilities to affect species of grouse in the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America is a conservation concern. Communication by male Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) is essential for lek mating displays and includes low-frequency vocalizations that could be disrupted by wind turbine noise. We studied the effects of wind turbine noise on the boom, cackle, whine, and whoop vocalizations of male Greater Prairie-Chickens recorded at 14 leks located 703 m to 23 km away from a wind energy facility near Ainsworth, Brown County, Nebraska, USA, in 2013 and 2014. First, we assessed ambient sound levels at our study sites. Wind turbine noise contributed to the soundscape; leks <1,000 m from wind turbines had higher levels of ambient sound than expected on the basis of recordings obtained at remote locations. Our second objective was to determine whether the acoustic characteristics of the 4 vocalizations recorded near the wind energy facility differed from those recorded farther away. At leks within 1,000 m of the wind energy facility, boom and whoop sound pressure levels were higher (boom 2% higher; whoop 5% higher), boom duration was 3% shorter, whine fundamental frequency was 11% higher, and biphonations in cackle vocalizations occurred 15% less often. These differences suggest that male Greater Prairie-Chickens adjust the acoustic properties of their vocalizations in response to the sounds generated by turbines at wind energy facilities. The effect of the adjustments reported here on the mating success of males near wind energy facilities remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalCondor
Volume120
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Fingerprint

wind power
vocalization
wind turbine
prairie
energy
lek
acoustic property
acoustic properties
mating success
grouse
turbines
turbine
wind turbines
Tympanuchus cupido
animal communication
acoustics
grassland
communication
grasslands
duration

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic
  • Avian
  • Bird
  • Calls
  • Masking
  • Sound
  • Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus
  • Wind farm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Whalen, C. E., Brown, M. B., McGee, J., Powell, L. A., & Walsh, E. J. (2018). Male greater prairie-chickens adjust their vocalizations in the presence of wind turbine noise. Condor, 120(1), 137-148. https://doi.org/10.1650/CONDOR-17-56.1

Male greater prairie-chickens adjust their vocalizations in the presence of wind turbine noise. / Whalen, Cara E.; Brown, Mary Bomberger; McGee, Joann; Powell, Larkin A.; Walsh, Edward J.

In: Condor, Vol. 120, No. 1, 01.02.2018, p. 137-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Whalen, CE, Brown, MB, McGee, J, Powell, LA & Walsh, EJ 2018, 'Male greater prairie-chickens adjust their vocalizations in the presence of wind turbine noise', Condor, vol. 120, no. 1, pp. 137-148. https://doi.org/10.1650/CONDOR-17-56.1
Whalen, Cara E. ; Brown, Mary Bomberger ; McGee, Joann ; Powell, Larkin A. ; Walsh, Edward J. / Male greater prairie-chickens adjust their vocalizations in the presence of wind turbine noise. In: Condor. 2018 ; Vol. 120, No. 1. pp. 137-148.
@article{ad422cfed212430e8980b385344cc677,
title = "Male greater prairie-chickens adjust their vocalizations in the presence of wind turbine noise",
abstract = "The potential for wind energy facilities to affect species of grouse in the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America is a conservation concern. Communication by male Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) is essential for lek mating displays and includes low-frequency vocalizations that could be disrupted by wind turbine noise. We studied the effects of wind turbine noise on the boom, cackle, whine, and whoop vocalizations of male Greater Prairie-Chickens recorded at 14 leks located 703 m to 23 km away from a wind energy facility near Ainsworth, Brown County, Nebraska, USA, in 2013 and 2014. First, we assessed ambient sound levels at our study sites. Wind turbine noise contributed to the soundscape; leks <1,000 m from wind turbines had higher levels of ambient sound than expected on the basis of recordings obtained at remote locations. Our second objective was to determine whether the acoustic characteristics of the 4 vocalizations recorded near the wind energy facility differed from those recorded farther away. At leks within 1,000 m of the wind energy facility, boom and whoop sound pressure levels were higher (boom 2{\%} higher; whoop 5{\%} higher), boom duration was 3{\%} shorter, whine fundamental frequency was 11{\%} higher, and biphonations in cackle vocalizations occurred 15{\%} less often. These differences suggest that male Greater Prairie-Chickens adjust the acoustic properties of their vocalizations in response to the sounds generated by turbines at wind energy facilities. The effect of the adjustments reported here on the mating success of males near wind energy facilities remains to be determined.",
keywords = "Anthropogenic, Avian, Bird, Calls, Masking, Sound, Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus, Wind farm",
author = "Whalen, {Cara E.} and Brown, {Mary Bomberger} and Joann McGee and Powell, {Larkin A.} and Walsh, {Edward J.}",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1650/CONDOR-17-56.1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "120",
pages = "137--148",
journal = "Condor",
issn = "0010-5422",
publisher = "American Ornithologist Society",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Male greater prairie-chickens adjust their vocalizations in the presence of wind turbine noise

AU - Whalen, Cara E.

AU - Brown, Mary Bomberger

AU - McGee, Joann

AU - Powell, Larkin A.

AU - Walsh, Edward J.

PY - 2018/2/1

Y1 - 2018/2/1

N2 - The potential for wind energy facilities to affect species of grouse in the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America is a conservation concern. Communication by male Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) is essential for lek mating displays and includes low-frequency vocalizations that could be disrupted by wind turbine noise. We studied the effects of wind turbine noise on the boom, cackle, whine, and whoop vocalizations of male Greater Prairie-Chickens recorded at 14 leks located 703 m to 23 km away from a wind energy facility near Ainsworth, Brown County, Nebraska, USA, in 2013 and 2014. First, we assessed ambient sound levels at our study sites. Wind turbine noise contributed to the soundscape; leks <1,000 m from wind turbines had higher levels of ambient sound than expected on the basis of recordings obtained at remote locations. Our second objective was to determine whether the acoustic characteristics of the 4 vocalizations recorded near the wind energy facility differed from those recorded farther away. At leks within 1,000 m of the wind energy facility, boom and whoop sound pressure levels were higher (boom 2% higher; whoop 5% higher), boom duration was 3% shorter, whine fundamental frequency was 11% higher, and biphonations in cackle vocalizations occurred 15% less often. These differences suggest that male Greater Prairie-Chickens adjust the acoustic properties of their vocalizations in response to the sounds generated by turbines at wind energy facilities. The effect of the adjustments reported here on the mating success of males near wind energy facilities remains to be determined.

AB - The potential for wind energy facilities to affect species of grouse in the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America is a conservation concern. Communication by male Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) is essential for lek mating displays and includes low-frequency vocalizations that could be disrupted by wind turbine noise. We studied the effects of wind turbine noise on the boom, cackle, whine, and whoop vocalizations of male Greater Prairie-Chickens recorded at 14 leks located 703 m to 23 km away from a wind energy facility near Ainsworth, Brown County, Nebraska, USA, in 2013 and 2014. First, we assessed ambient sound levels at our study sites. Wind turbine noise contributed to the soundscape; leks <1,000 m from wind turbines had higher levels of ambient sound than expected on the basis of recordings obtained at remote locations. Our second objective was to determine whether the acoustic characteristics of the 4 vocalizations recorded near the wind energy facility differed from those recorded farther away. At leks within 1,000 m of the wind energy facility, boom and whoop sound pressure levels were higher (boom 2% higher; whoop 5% higher), boom duration was 3% shorter, whine fundamental frequency was 11% higher, and biphonations in cackle vocalizations occurred 15% less often. These differences suggest that male Greater Prairie-Chickens adjust the acoustic properties of their vocalizations in response to the sounds generated by turbines at wind energy facilities. The effect of the adjustments reported here on the mating success of males near wind energy facilities remains to be determined.

KW - Anthropogenic

KW - Avian

KW - Bird

KW - Calls

KW - Masking

KW - Sound

KW - Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus

KW - Wind farm

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041363414&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85041363414&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1650/CONDOR-17-56.1

DO - 10.1650/CONDOR-17-56.1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85041363414

VL - 120

SP - 137

EP - 148

JO - Condor

JF - Condor

SN - 0010-5422

IS - 1

ER -