Superb Fairy-wren 01Due to our smartphones essentially being tiny computers that we can easily slip into our pockets, it has led to a development of a variety of apps that can do just about anything, from splitting a bill and finding out the right amount to tip, to weird and novel games that have been designed to take advantage of our smartphone’s hardware. It has also led to a change in certain hobbies, such as bird watching, where there are apps designed to mimic the calls of certain birds in an attempt to lure them out so that we might photograph them or to better study their environment. Unfortunately these practices have not been well-received by avid bird watchers who feel that such methods are considered unethical.

In fact some scientists are worried that by artificially mimicking birds might have a negative effect on these creatures, where it might eventually condition these birds to stop responding which could lead to a loss of a potential mate, force them to leave their natural habitat, and could even unnecessarily attract a predator. Of course those who uses these apps claim that scientists have been doing it for decades which is a method known a “pishing”, a replication of a bird call. It’s actually interesting to see how a seemingly innocuous app could spark such a huge debate, and further shows how much technology is encroaching into nature. What do you guys think?

[Image credit – Richard Waring]

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