Re: Magpie-larks duetting

To: Philip A Veerman <>
Subject: Re: Magpie-larks duetting
From: James Davis <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 22:23:09 +1000 (EST)

   You have raised some interesting questions that I hestitate to address
because I am still uncertain where to draw the line.  As you mentioned
timing of each bird's singing-performances may prove useful in identifying
duetting, e.g. Eastern Whipbird.  With regard to the Australian Magpie I
lean towards not using it as an example of dueting, but instead an example
of carroling - any number of birds in a magpie group will sing together.
By definition, duetting seems to be limited to one male and one female
that are paired. However, if a female is capable of singing this doesn't
necessary mean that she needs to join her mate in a duet.  There are many
Australian birds in which the female sings but don't participate in
duets (e.g. fairy-wrens). 

Cheers, Jim

Dr. Wm. James Davis, Editor
Interpretive Birding Bulletin

On Wed, 8 Jul 1998, Philip A Veerman wrote:

> You haven't seen Magpie-larks duetting? They do it all the time! They
> probably do more of their calls as a duet than individually. A pair will
> perch together and alternately call and indulge in a little wing raising
> display. It is probably difficult to define duetting as an unusual thing.
> Many birds do it. Where do you distinguish between duetting and just calling
> to each other. Is the timing important? Butcherbirds, Magpies and Currawongs
> do it. So do Cuckoos.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Re: Magpie-larks duetting, James Davis <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU