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Experimental study of alarm calls of the oriental tit (Parus minor) toward different predators and reactions they induce in nestlings

Title
Experimental study of alarm calls of the oriental tit (Parus minor) toward different predators and reactions they induce in nestlings
Authors
Ha, JungmoonLee, KeesanYang, EunjeongKim, WoojooSong, Ho-kyungHwang, InjaeLee-Cruz, LarisaLee, Sang-imJablonski, Piotr
DGIST Authors
Ha, Jungmoon; Lee, Keesan; Yang, Eunjeong; Kim, Woojoo; Song, Ho-kyung; Hwang, Injae; Lee-Cruz, Larisa; Lee, Sang-im; Jablonski, Piotr
Issue Date
2020-06
Citation
Ethology, 126(6), 610-619
Type
Article
Article Type
Article
Author Keywords
alarm callanti-predatorbirdsnest predationParus minorreferential call
Keywords
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEESNEST PREDATIONMOBBING CALLSTAMIASCIURUS-HUDSONICUSANTIPREDATOR BEHAVIORCONVEY INFORMATIONRAPID DETECTIONRED SQUIRRELSGREAT TITRESPONSES
ISSN
0179-1613
Abstract
Anti-predatory strategies of birds are diverse and may include predator-specific alarm calls. For example, oriental tit (Parus minor) parents can distinguish snakes from other predators and produce snake-specific referential vocalizations (jar call) when a snake poses a threat to their nest. The “jar” call has a very specific function to induce fledging of nestlings close to fledging age. This reaction ensures nestlings' survival in natural encounters with snakes that are capable of entering nest cavities and kill entire broods. Sciurid rodents, like chipmunks, may pose a similar threat to cavity-nesting birds. We explored the hypothesis that parents use the fledging-inducing alarm vocalizations in this situation, because chipmunks, like snakes, can kill the brood upon entering the nest cavity. We compared alarm calls of parents toward two predators (chipmunk and snake) who pose a similar threat to the nestlings in a nest cavity, and toward an avian predator (Eurasian jay) who cannot enter nest cavities and poses no threat to the nestlings in a nest. Our results show that the vocal responses of oriental tits were different among the three predators. This suggests that the acoustic properties of vocal responses to predators are different between predators of a similar hunting strategy (nest-cavity entering). The playback of recorded vocal responses of parents to chipmunks did not trigger the fledging of old nestlings, whereas the vocalizations toward a snake did, as shown by earlier studies. Our study suggests that the vocal response of parents does not carry information about the ability of predators to enter the nest cavity and confirms the special status of alarm calls triggered by snakes. © 2020 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11750/11881
DOI
10.1111/eth.13012
Publisher
Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Related Researcher
Files:
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Collection:
Department of New BiologyLab of Integrative Animal Ecology1. Journal Articles


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