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Re: Deception Calls

Subject: Re: Deception Calls
From: Doug Von Gausig <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 10:29:25 -0700
At 08:49 PM 6/27/2003 -0700, Martyn wrote:
>Doug, down in Yuba pass you said you had a recording of a Steller's jay
>imitating a Raptor, can you post this for me/us? As I said, I have
>Starlings making calls of a Red-Tail Hawk and also British Starlings
>imitating Buzzards back home, but not a Steller's Jay. I have these
>Starlings calling all day in my garden with these deception calls
>scaring off the feeding birds, cunning buggers eh?

There's a copy of it at - go to "North American 
Bird Sounds" - "Passeriformes" - "Corvidae" - "Steller's Jay" to hear it. 
This recording was one I caught in the Pinyon Pine/Juniper belt near 
Sedona, Arizona one afternoon. No feeders anywhere around, so it was a 
"natural" deception call.

Most of the accounts that I hear of Steller's and Blue Jays doing this are 
from people who observe it around feeders, but there is a natural basis for 
the behavior - assumedly to scare other birds away from a resource. Jay 
mimicry is primarily mimicry of raptors - Red-tailed Hawks, Sharp-shinned 
Hawks, etc.

If others have recordings or even accounts of Jay or other Corvid mimicry, 
please post them or let us hear about them. "Deception Mimicry" is a 
special form of mimicry and it is poorly understood and little-studied.

      Zonies Galleria
     215 N. Hwy. 89A
    Sedona, AZ  86336
  928/282-5995 ph/fax

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