Mechanically produced sounds by birds.

To: "Jim Davis" <>, "Carol Probets" <>
Subject: Mechanically produced sounds by birds.
From: "Philip A Veerman" <>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 23:01:33 +1100
Regent Honeyeaters when mimicking Red Wattlebirds do this bill clapping
exactly as and in the same sequence as the Wattlebirds do it.
-----Original Message-----
From: Carol Probets <>
To: Jim Davis <>
Cc:  <>
Date: Sunday, 30 January 2000 2:09
Subject: Fw: Mechanically produced sounds by birds.

>Hi Jim,
>The one that immediately came to my mind is the Red Wattlebird, which
>sometimes uses bill-clapping as part of its female-male duet. It is
>mentioned in the Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds, which
>"SONG: Mellow, ringing tew-tew-tew-tew by female injected with harsh deep
>coughing chork-ch-chok-ch-ch-chock by male, in duet; often introduced by
>bill snapping."
>I'm not sure which sex does the bill snapping in this situation. I have
>sometimes heard lyrebirds mimic this bill snapping without the rest of the
>wattlebirds' song, and I think it is distinctive enough to be recognisable
>as a wattlebird's bill snapping. It is quite rapid.
>I have also been swooped at by a male Red Wattlebird who clapped his bill
>at me in the same way that Australian Magpies do. I was in his territory
>(my garden) and I guess the bill snapping makes the attack more
>intimidating. I know the wattlebird was a male because he and his mate
>owned my garden for a while and I got to know them well. One was noticably
>bigger than the other, and as I had seen them mating, I knew that the
>bigger of the two was the male (unless they were trying out a new
>position). This was also consistent with their respective parts in the duet
>as described above.
>Loud wingbeats are used by a number of pigeons as you mentioned, but what
>about the Eastern Spinebill? It flies with a characteristic flip-flop
>sound. I wonder if this has a signalling function or if it is just an
>accidental result of anatomy.
>An interesting topic, I reckon.
>Carol Probets
>Katoomba NSW
>Jim Davis wrote:
>>I am researching an article on mechanical sound production in birds for an
>>upcoming issue of the IB Bulletin, I am in need of good Australian
>>Specifically,  I am interested in externally produced sounds (not songs)
>>that have evolved to serve for a particular function(s) ... e.g. sounds
>>in courtship displays, territorial advertisements, warning signals, etc.
>>It would be most helpful if you include the names of species with a
>>description of the sound produced.  Species that I am aware of include:
>>Palm Cockatoos
>>Some doves
>>As you can see I am low on Australian examples.
>>Bill clapping would be a good one if I had specific information on a given
>>species and the context in which the sound is produced?   Albatrosses come
>> to mind.
>> Any others?
>> Cheers, Jim
>> Dr Wm. James Davis, Editor
>> Interpretive Birding Bulletin
>To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to
>Include ONLY "unsubscribe birding-aus"
>in the message body (without the quotes)

To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to

Include ONLY "unsubscribe birding-aus"
in the message body (without the quotes)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU