This study by the Wildlife Conservation Society in the US found that it is not just habitat change which affects birds. In fact, human behaviour patterns in residential areas may alter species communities. Changes in response to human behaviour are also seen in species in urban areas in the UK. Studies have found that hedgehogs emerge later from their nests in urban areas, possibly to avoid human activity. These studies indicate that species behaviour is more complicated than we may think, especially where interaction with humans is occurring.
Among the possibilities of primary influence on bird communities in exurban areas? Human disturbance. The findings have prompted a follow-up study now underway in the same locations. The ongoing study is investigating how habitat structural change as well as human disturbance factors such as noise and nighttime lighting, impact bird and mammal communities.