I've noticed many times, that individual birds within a species can react very
strongly to a whistle, while at other times it seems to make them go quiet.
This usually coincides with seasonal context differences. Golden Whistlers
respond very well to a whistle in spring, but a calling young bird that has
dispersed tends to go quiet after hearing another bird call.
It strongly suggests that such birds suppress their calling to avoid the ire of
another bird sounding territorial (usually the most played call is a
In the case you quote regarding to the Night Parrot reports - the different
response to call is most likely due to difference in seasonal context,
territory status, maturity of the calling bird or a combination of all these.
No doubt others will be able to suggest other reasons why this could be so.
On 04/07/2013, at 10:57 AM, Andrew Taylor wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 03, 2013 at 08:46:36PM +1000, Robert Inglis wrote:
>> I must have listened to a different interview with John Young this
>> Or perhaps I read something about playback of the call somewhere
>> Doesn’t anyone understand what John Young has been saying about how the
>> parrots reacted to the playback?
> The radio interviews left me confused. John Young mentioned recording
> a call at 1.5km which would suggest a call louder than an Eastern Ground
> Parrot but he also talks about calls being very quiet and once also loud.
> He mentions calling in response to playing of a call and he mentions
> birds approaching with apparently agonistic behaviour after playback -
> suggesting a territorial response but he also suggested the reverse with
> playing of call suppressing activity for several days.
> It would be really interesting to know what calls were played - individual
> recognition is possible and may affect response.
> John Young suggested there were less than 200 Night Parrots left. There
> is a vast area of possibly suitable habitat (depending on rainfall) so I
> don't understand how any estimate can be offered. The birds photographed
> might be the last or there might be 10000+ - unless you know something
> that hugely reduces the potential habitat.
> None of the above is criticism - you won't expect a radio interview
> to provide this sort of precise info - may more was said at
> the Qld museum?
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