Anorak News | Nightingale Force

Nightingale Force

by | 5th, May 2004

‘IT will doubtless interest you to learn that the official wild flower of London is the rosebay willowherb, the flower of the bombsite.

‘Orville, who is your very best friend?’ ‘YOU ARE!’

Look, there’s one there, just under the enormous dry dog turd and to the left of that hypodermic needle and jellified condom.

Now you see it.

And do you hear that? Yes, it’s the sound of true lovers meeting in Mayfair, ready to dine with angels in the Ritz and later to gaze up at the moon lingering in the skies above.

Of course, you didn’t hear a thing, because Berkeley Square is being ruined by the din of nightingales marking out their territories.

The Times says that the constant hum of traffic and mayor Ken Livingstone’s drone is causing nightingales in London and other cities to sing up.

And they are now singing so loudly that they are breaking legal noise levels and could be classified as a sound hazard.

You can even hear them in Berlin. There, scientists have recorded birds warbling next to the Potsdamer Chausee dual-carriageway at an ear-splitting 93 decibels.

‘A nightingale next to your ear would cause severe damage to your ear for a prolonged length of time,’ says Henrick Brumm, a behavioural biologist at Berlin’s Free University.

‘In Germany, you are obliged to wear ear protectors with more than 85 decibels for more than one hour, so working next to a nightingale means you would have to have protection.’

This is a warning to us all, including the British Army, which might be contemplating equipping its forces with nightingales to win over the locals in Iraq.

They should also avoid canaries, which are rumoured to be unreliable, stool pigeons, hawks, Rod Hull’s emu and American bald eagles, all of which might cause offence.

Orville, however, would do just fine…’

Posted: 5th, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink