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:1/29/2020)... ... January 29, 2020 , ... Jason ... and Data Sciences practice, providing consulting services for strategy, research and development and ... Mike Townley, co-founder and Managing Partner of CREO, an innovative management consulting and ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 28, 2020 , ... ... life sciences companies and government agencies, announced that the firm has established a ... country. Tunnell’s Cambridge office will be in the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), at ...
(Date:1/27/2020)... ... January 27, 2020 , ... Cytonus Therapeutics Inc. today ... tech entrepreneur, and former senior management consultant at McKinsey & Company who holds ... alternative investment firm. , “Chris Thorne has exceptional business acumen with a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2020)... ... February 03, 2020 , ... ... MA, announce that OmniType, the 11-locus, single tube multiplex successor to Holotype HLA ... best-in-class product featuring locus-multiplexing and short library preparation, for HLA genotyping from sample ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 28, ... ... of enterprise software solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced the release of ... reinforces Genedata’s focus on supporting the implementation of Multi-Attribute Methods (MAM) for ...
(Date:1/27/2020)... ... January 27, 2020 , ... Cerebyte, the leader in “instant ... today announced the availability of neuroscience of transformational leadership workshops. These highly interactive, ... of leadership and change research to become great transformational leaders. The workshops ...
(Date:1/24/2020)... ... January 24, 2020 , ... The plastic and reconstructive surgeons at ... New Jersey epitomize the notion that plastic surgery is much more than just cosmetic ... media. , Over the last 20 years NJ Top Docs, Dr. Andrew Elkwood, Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: