Alarm calls and our reaction to them

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Alarm calls and our reaction to them
From: "Janine Duffy" <>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2013 00:25:12 +0000
I think its amazing how well we humans come to understand the alarm calls of 
our local birds. 

Recently I was out for a run in my local park in port Melbourne when I heard 
the 'Raptor above' alarm go up. Without thinking I looked up, searched the 
dark, stormy skies, only to see a fairly big Silver Gull. 

The alarms intensified and reached proportions that I've rarely heard. Every 
small bird was involved. I was confused - this was not a reaction to a gull. So 
I kept looking in the sky thinking maybe something much bigger was up very 

The gull kept circling over, and the alarms perfectly followed it. I got my 
small, fairly useless, running binoculars up. The 'gull' wasn't - it was 
darker, with longer wings, big heavy shoulders and a slightly wedge-shaped 
tail. It was a bit bigger than a Silver Gull. 

Eventually it stopped circling around and disappeared. I think it was a Jaeger. 

The wind that day was a howling Southerly, and I was only 500m from the beach, 
but even so I didn't know Jaegers hunted inland. This bird certainly was 
looking out for something and the small birds were highly aware of that. 

I wished I'd seen more or had a camera!

JANINE DUFFY Director Marketing & Research
Email:  Web:
Tel: +61 (0)3 9646 8249 Fax: +61 (0)3 9681 9177 ABN: 72 716 985 505
Sent via Blackberry
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