Mimicry by Starlings Strenus vulgaris

To: Howard Plowright <>
Subject: Mimicry by Starlings Strenus vulgaris
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 17:26:06 -0700 (PDT)
Howard Plowright <> wrote:

The topic of mimicry by birds of "common" human
produced sound has once again been raised - I have a
solid report of Starlings reproducing the screams of
young girls in a school playground.

The pitch and sound wave maybe confusing?

I'd be very interested to have comments, from within
Australia, of definite instances of mimicry by
starlings or other birds of say telephone rings, or
other noise related to human occupation.

I have a very good magpie that does more then just
copy phone cawls/rings? she picks up the handset and
drops it again to stop the phone ringing? I kid you
not. I warn all that phone me about this.

>From a personal viewpoint I can't say I have ever
noticed recognisable mimicry.

I had an outdoor living magpie in Somerville that did
a great rendition of a mac truck going through it's
gearbox as if going downhill? made me feel insecure
when I used to own and drive my mazda 323 :-]

Howard Plowright, Melbourne

John Gamblin, Hastings, Mornington Peninsula.

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