Crime has dropped in a California town, and residents should be thanking their fine feathered friends, says the mayor. Last year, he began piping recorded birdsong to 70 speakers on a highway. Minor crime dropped 15% from 2010 while serious crimes dropped 6%, the Wall Street Journal reports. It's no coincidence, says Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris—it's subtle psychology. "Everybody is now in a better mood, a better place," he says. "We're not seeing that impulse-control crime."
Plenty of locals, including the sheriff, agree that the birds are at least partially to thank. It makes sense to the man who created the recordings, who notes that humans have long taken solace from birdsong. "We've learned over hundreds of thousands of years it's when they stop that we need to worry," he says. Others aren't so sure: "There's also a drop in crime in every other major and minor city," says a criminology expert.