Wed, 23 Oct 1996 16:02:32 +1100
Last Sunday I had an unexpected surprise. I had my latest lifer in the form
of a Southern Boobook (at long last, it was getting to be an
embarrassment!) and I only saw the bird because I investigated these
unfamiliar calls coming from a peppermint tree right in the middle of
Perth. When I checked there was this owl perched with 2 or 3 Singing
Honeyeaters hopping around. The calls made by the honeyeaters were a
whining sort of vocalisation, kept up continuously and sounded like begging
calls of young birds. I had never heard Singing Honeyeaters calling like
This incident reminded me of a doco that I saw on monkeys in Africa which
made different calls to "tell" the others whether the predators were coming
from the air (raptors) or the ground (eg snakes, leopards).
The question is whether birds also do this - that is do they have certain
calls for say, owls and other calls for raptors flying overhead, snakes,
humans etc. Also do other species also have special calls when mobbing owls
as my experience (limited as it is) is that they just chatter and "scold"
in a frenzy.
Have others anything to comment?
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