Oriole mimicry etc.

To: "Syd Curtis" <>, "birding aus" <>
Subject: Oriole mimicry etc.
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 21:12:51 +1100
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.
-----Original Message-----
From: Syd Curtis <>
To: Philip A. Veerman <>
Cc: <>
Date: 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 +1100
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.

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