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Publikationstyp: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Dokumenttyp: Originalarbeit

Jahr: 2020

AutorInnen: Wein, A; Schwing, R; Huber, L

Titel: Kea Nestor notabilis mothers produce nest-specific calls with low amplitude and high entropy.

Quelle: Ibis 162(3): 1012-1023.

Autor/innen der Vetmeduni Vienna:

Huber Ludwig
Schwing Raoul
Wein-Schwing Amelia

Beteiligte Vetmed-Organisationseinheiten
Messerli Forschungsinstitut, Abteilung für Vergleichende Kognitionsforschung

Vocal behaviour of nesting altricial birds is subject to selection pressure from several sources. Offspring beg to attract parents' attention, thus increasing the chances of being fed, but also increasing the chances of being detected by predators. Research on passerines has shown that parents may reduce the risk of nest predation by alarm calling to warn nestlings to be quiet, and by producing food calls which solicit begging when parents are present to defend the nestlings. Both nestlings and parents may reduce the risk of predator detection by producing calls of low amplitude and high entropy which are acoustically difficult to locate. Although extensive research has been undertaken on nesting passerine vocalizations, little is known about parrots in this regard, and studies are needed to determine whether parrots show similar adaptations. We investigated the calling behaviour of KeaNestor notabilismothers during the nesting period to determine whether maternal vocalizations were adapted in a way that could increase the chance of brood success. A microphone was installed inside the nest to record calls produced both inside the nest and in the direct vicinity. Our prediction was that calls outside the nest would be easy to locate and could function as alarm calls to alert conspecifics or distract the predator, whereas calls inside the nest would be difficult to locate and could serve to communicate with nestlings without alerting predators. Our results accorded with these predictions. Calls produced outside the nest were loud and tonal, and corresponded to previously described Kea alarm calls. Calls produced inside the nest, however, were high-entropy and low-amplitude calls, and formed a distinct structural category. We thus provide the first evidence that a parrot species has a vocal category for communication inside the nest, and that calls within this category are structured in a way that could reduce the risk of nest predation.

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