[UNCLASSIFIED] pipit mimicry

Subject: [UNCLASSIFIED] pipit mimicry
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 20:03:30 +1100
I guess I am a little perplexed by this whole conversation.
Obviously I wasnt there with the original observation of mimicry.
I have kept a number of species of quail, although not Stubble quail for any length of time, but I have looked after them and had friends who kept them.
To me, the contact call of pippits can be similar to stubble quail. At close proximity, pippits calls are quite loud and I have thought, at the time, it may be confused with S quail. The field guides that I have, seem to describe the calls very similarly.
My hearing is not great. But wouldnt the simplest explanation be that the pippits were giving their normal contact call.
Now, why a pippits call and stubble quail call are similar is a different question. It may be because of habitat (and the dynamics of sound) or perhaps due to mimicry or convergence through evolution due to ecology, although I cant at present think of why.
Many species of birds may mimic other birds, some are better than others. Many contact calls, alarm calls, feeding calls, and 'comfort' calls (close contact) are similar 'across' species that are not related. Is this chance? a result of habitat? Or from mimicry? I think many of these questions are still to be answered.
Benj Whitworth


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