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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/10/2016)... PUNE, India , March 10, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Identity and Access ... SSO, & Audit, Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, ... Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is ... to USD 12.78 Billion by 2020, at a Compound ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... -- Nigeria . Recently, the ... public service employees either did not exist with their ...    --> Nigeria . Recently, ... 23,000 public service employees either did not exist with ... unlawfully.    --> DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI ... categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in Education, ... This is the 9 th year of the ... of companies and individuals from past years . ... on a pre-described set of criteria, by a panel ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... , ... Global Stem Cells Group CEO Benito Novas announced that ... GSCG affiliate Kimera Labs in Miami. , In 2004, Ross received his Ph.D. in ... hematologic disorders and the suppression of graft vs. host disease (GVHD) under UM Professor ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... healthcare, today announced that Ardy Arianpour has joined the company as Chief Business ... of experience bringing innovative genomic technologies to market, was most recently Chief Commercial ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... BioFactura, Inc ., a biopharmaceutical research ... financing. Healthy investor interest drove significant oversubscription of the original $1.5M target. ... biosimilars, to the advanced preclinical stages. , Chief Executive Officer and President, Darryl ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- genae, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) ... the appointment of Prof. Dr. Jörn Balzer to the ... include all clinical, safety and risk management related to ... honored with the acceptance of Prof. Balzer to join ... genae. "Prof. Balzer,s impressive and extensive background make him ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: