HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Chickadees' alarm calls carry information about size, threat of predators

There's more than meets the human ear when the black-capped chickadee lets its flock mates know a predator is lurking about by giving out its familiar "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" call.

The small songbirds, which are common throughout much of North America, use that signature call in a wide variety of social interactions including warning of predators. And it turns out that those alarms are far more subtle and information-packed than scientists previously imagined.

Writing in the current issue of the journal Science, researchers report that chickadees use one of the most sophisticated signaling systems discovered among animals. The calls warn other chickadees not only if a predator is moving rapidly, but also transmit information on the degree of threat posed by stationary predators of different sizes.

Chris Templeton, a biology doctoral student at the University of Washington and lead author of the study, said chickadees produce two very different alarm signals in response to predators. When they see flying raptors birds of prey such as hawks, owls and falcons they produce a soft, high-pitched "seet" call. But when they see a stationary or perched predator, the birds use a loud, wide spectrum chick-a-dee-dee-dee alarm to recruit other chickadees, as well as other bird species, to harass or mob the predator. Spectrographic analysis of more than 5,000 recorded chickadee mobbing alarm calls made under semi-natural conditions showed that the acoustic features of the calls varied with the size of the predator. And when the recordings were played back to the birds through speakers, their mobbing behavior was related to the size and threat presented by the potential predator.

Templeton said chickadees can alter their mobbing calls in a number of ways, most of which humans can not hear. Most typically they change the dee dee dee not at the end of the call, sometimes adding five, 10 or 15 dees.

"You would certainly might notice a change in
'"/>

Contact: Joel Schwarz
joels@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
23-Jun-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Plants tag insect herbivores with an alarm
2. Eavesdropping nuthatches distinguish danger threats in chickadee alarm calls
3. Nuclear medicine patients: No-alarm holiday travel tips
4. Infection alarm yields clues to immune system behavior
5. Bird song changes sound alarm over habitat fragmentation
6. Blips in HIV treatment are not cause for alarm
7. Rat brains executive hub quells alarm center if stress is controllable
8. Young meerkats learn the emotion before the message in threat calls
9. Fisheries group calls for science-based approach to address climate impacts
10. Male reindeer inflate a large air sac in the neck region to emit their hoarse rutting calls
11. Report calls for improved monoclonal antibodies against solid tumors

Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/17/2014)... 16, 2014 Valencell, a leader in performance ... technology to industry leaders such as Intel, Jabra, Atlas, ... biometric wearable products. These products will be showcased at ... Las Vegas . "Our partners ... and robust – with the clinical data to back ...
(Date:12/15/2014)... , Dec. 12, 2014 Research and ... the addition of the "Global Facial Recognition ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 ... identification of individuals. Facial recognition system measures the ... nose, jaw edges, mouth, and the distance between ...
(Date:12/11/2014)... SALEM, N.C. , Dec. 10, 2014  That blood ... for quite a while. Hypertension – the medical term for ... in the early 1800s, and the inflatable cuff that,s used ... That doesn,t, however, mean there,s nothing new about hypertension, its ... some long-held beliefs about the condition and the best ways ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Valencell PerformTek Biometrics Power the Most Accurate Wearables at CES 2015 2Global Facial Recognition Market 2015-2019: Key Vendors are 3M Cogent, Cognitec Systems, NEC and Safran Group 2Global Facial Recognition Market 2015-2019: Key Vendors are 3M Cogent, Cognitec Systems, NEC and Safran Group 3Research points to need for new approaches to treatment of high blood pressure 2Research points to need for new approaches to treatment of high blood pressure 3Research points to need for new approaches to treatment of high blood pressure 4
(Date:12/19/2014)... MILLBROOK, N.Y. , Dec. 18, 2014 Egenix, ... has been elected Chairman of the Board, to succeed ... President and CEO, but will continue as a member of ... that he has added to the company over almost twenty ... The Board of Directors has established a Search ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... New York, NY (PRWEB) December 16, 2014 ... undergone significant changes since 2013, which is why IBISWorld ... one, this industry continues to benefit from an intensified ... 2014, the proposal for new emission standards for power ... affected industry operators. According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Sarah ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... December 17, 2014 Achim Noack has ... for Stoller Group. In this position, Noack will assist ... administrative matters, develop marketing strategy and supervise global marketing ... , “Achim has tremendous knowledge and experience in the ... Group. “His experience and innovative thinking will be a ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... December 17, 2014 This report ... Quartz Tubing industry. For an overview analysis, the ... application, industry chain structure, industry overview, policy analysis, ... tubing industry has witnessed rapid development with ... of acquisitions. This report mentions quartz tubing upstream ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Activated Carbon Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report Has Been Updated from IBISWorld 2Activated Carbon Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report Has Been Updated from IBISWorld 3Achim Noack Joins Stoller Group as Global Vice President of Marketing and Administration 22020 Quartz Tubing Market: Global Development & Forecasts Analysis Now at DeepResearchReports.com 2
Cached News: