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Nuthatches eavesdrop on variations in heterospecific chickadee mobbing alarm calls.
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Nuthatches eavesdrop on variations in heterospecific chickadee mobbing alarm calls.

Author: CN Templeton Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. ctemple2@u.wshington.edu; E Greene
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2007 Mar 27; 104(13): 5479-82
Other Databases: WorldCatWorldCat
Summary:
Many animals recognize the alarm calls produced by other species, but the amount of information they glean from these eavesdropped signals is unknown. We previously showed that black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) have a sophisticated alarm call system in which they encode complex information about the size and risk of potential predators in variations of a single type of mobbing alarm call. Here we show  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: CN Templeton Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. ctemple2@u.wshington.edu; E Greene
ISSN:0027-8424
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 123862457
Awards:

Abstract:

Many animals recognize the alarm calls produced by other species, but the amount of information they glean from these eavesdropped signals is unknown. We previously showed that black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) have a sophisticated alarm call system in which they encode complex information about the size and risk of potential predators in variations of a single type of mobbing alarm call. Here we show experimentally that red-breasted nuthatches (Sitta canadensis) respond appropriately to subtle variations of these heterospecific "chick-a-dee" alarm calls, thereby evidencing that they have gained important information about potential predators in their environment. This study demonstrates a previously unsuspected level of discrimination in intertaxon eavesdropping.

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