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Oi, your bird's ringing

Our feathered friends are jealous of mobile tones

British birds have started to mimic those familiar and rather annoying mobile phone ringtones as part of mating rituals, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Starlings are leading the chorus, says the RSPB, and other are birds copying it.

"It is not uncommon for birds to copy sounds such as whistles," said Andrew South, an RSPB spokesperson, "[and] they are now mimicking phones."

The European market for mobile phone ringtones is worth an estimated £1bn a year, according to a report by research company Strand Consult.

Nokia knows all about this. "Ringtone downloads are one of the most popular parts of our site," said a spokesperson at Nokia.

"It is quite amazing that birds are picking up these rings," said Nokia, "after all, it may encourage people to change their rings more frequently as they may think the singing bird is their phone ringing."


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