RE: bird vocalisations

To: "'Birding-aus'" <>
Subject: RE: bird vocalisations
From: "Osborn, Paul PR" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 09:01:01 +1000
Noisy Miners certainly have different alarm calls for different threats.
An earlier post of mine (about may-June 96) discussed the similarity
between the alarm calls of Noisy Miner and Grey Butcherbird in regard to
snakes. We only saw the snake because we were investigating an
unfamiliar alarm call. It is my experience that Noisy Miners even have
different alarm calls for different birds of prey, but I need more
observations before I can positively identify which alarm is for which
raptor. I recall a show on TV where David Attenborough discussed this
aspect of the behaviour of one of the American Jay family, or was it a
shrike?, in the semi arid country of the US. It was a bluish-grey bird
with a crest and it definitely had different alarm calls for raptors and
Paul Osborn

>From:  :
>Sent:  Wednesday, 23 October 1996 3:02
>Subject:       bird vocalisations
>Greetings all,
>Last Sunday I had an unexpected surprise. I had my latest lifer in the form
>of a Southern Boobook (at long last, it was getting to be an
>embarrassment!) and I only saw the bird because I investigated these
>unfamiliar calls coming from a peppermint tree right in the middle of
>Perth. When I checked there was this owl perched with 2 or 3 Singing
>Honeyeaters hopping around. The calls made by the honeyeaters were a
>whining sort of vocalisation, kept up continuously and sounded like begging
>calls of young birds. I had never heard Singing Honeyeaters calling like
>This incident reminded me of a doco that I saw on monkeys in Africa which
>made different calls to "tell" the others whether the predators were coming
>from the air (raptors) or the ground (eg snakes, leopards).
>The question is whether birds also do this - that is do they have certain
>calls for say, owls and other calls for raptors flying overhead, snakes,
>humans etc. Also do other species also have special calls when mobbing owls
>as my experience (limited as it is) is that they just chatter and "scold"
>in a frenzy.
>Have others anything to comment?
>1/117 Hubert Street
>East Vic Park  WA 6101
>Tel: (09) 472 3392 (H)
>      (09) 387 0745 (W)

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