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Re: Songbirds audiogram

Subject: Re: Songbirds audiogram
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 08:33:57 -0700
This is forwarded from Rob Magrath, 

We have been studying alarm communication in
birds, and at least two species of small
passerine respond by fleeing to cover after
playback at natural amplitude of aerial alarm
calls with a mean peak frequency of 9.1 kHz. Both
white-browed scrubwrens and superb fairy-wrens
fled after playback of either species' alarm
call. The scrubwren's calls has a mean perk
frequency of 7.1 kHz and the fairy-wren 9.1 kHz.

As Michael says, it would be surprising if birds
couldn't hear biologically salient vocalizations.

Details of the alarm calls playbacks are in:

Magrath, R. D., Pitcher, B. J. & Gardner, J. L.
2007. A mutual understanding? Interspecific
responses by birds to each other's aerial alarm
calls. Behavioral Ecology, 18, 944-951.


Rob Magrath

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