Re: Whipbirds, Weather, Male chauvinism, & Conservation

To: Syd Curtis <>
Subject: Re: Whipbirds, Weather, Male chauvinism, & Conservation
From: WM James Davis <>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 13:08:36 +1000 (EST)
  I have visited Mt Cootha Park many time and encountered Eastern
Whipbirds on numerous occassions.  Having seen the male emit his whip
call, followed by a second bird calling from the bush. I must conclude. at
this point in time, that males are capable giving the first part of the

Your example of female Bay wrens singing first in a duet is
interesting, but please note that male and female bay wrens are
monomorphic and females sing to defend their territory from other females
- not to cement a pair bond between pairs.  Males do likewise.  (Having
read some of this literature I suspect, but not sure that there are more
females in the population than there are males - hence intense competition
between female Bay Wrens.)  I also believe that females and males share
the same song repertorie.  With regard to whipbirds, the sexes are not
monomorphic in plumage or vocal behaviour (as far as I know).  

Second, I have not observed any association between occurrences of
storms and vocal behaviour; that is upcoming storms arriving hours 
into the future, etc. as you suggest.  Whipbirds do seem to respond,
however, to changing levels of light intensity that can occur when a
nearby storm approaches.

Cheers, Jim


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