I suspect we have had this conversation before,
on birding aus.
OK so there is a twist but it also demonstrates
that the use of the mimicry was probably random. As in the Oriole included that
mimicry as part of a subsong collection of a whole range of mimicked calls (or
that is what they usually do), not because it was communicating to the
Butcherbird, it just happened to be good enough copy to be recognised, and
Butcherbirds are not averse to a fight anyway. There is very little benefit to
the Oriole in having used that call, given the outcome, so it is unlikely to
represent any strategy directed at the Butcherbird. I have heard an Olive-backed
Oriole (in my garden in Canberra) mimic Mistletoebirds,
Sacred Kingfisher, Crimson Rosella & Wedge-tailed Eagle calls in one
session. At the risk of being repetitive, this is quite different to Regent
Honeyeaters' mimicry behaviour.
Syd Curtis <>
Philip A. Veerman <>
Sunday, 1 December 2002 13:22
Subject: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Use
of tapes (RH, RW)
I was tape-recording
an Olive-backed Oriole in Pinus taeda plantations (Dec. '73). It was
warbling away in what I think is regarded as sub-song and there was quite a
bit of mimicry. Unwisely it included butcherbird threat calls - which
a butcherbird certainly recognised and chased it vigorously, with snapping
beak, through the forest!
From: "Philip A. Veerman"
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 17:51:06
To: "birding aus"
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Use
of tapes (RH, RW)
Red Wattlebirds respond to playback of calls of
Regent Honeyeaters' mimicry of Red Wattlebirds and Little Wattlebirds. I
point out that I don't do that experiment to locate Red Wattlebirds,
just to check if the model recognises the sound. I haven't tried the
same experiment on Little Wattlebirds.