Honeyeater alarm calls

To: <>
Subject: Honeyeater alarm calls
From: "Paul and Irene Osborn" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 12:58:26 -0600
Hi Alastair, Andy and all,

In a previous existence, when I had to work for a living, I had an office
with large windows at just above tree height, looking out over bushland that
formed part of Newcastle University. There was a large colony of Noisy
Miners resident and quite a few raptors would come into view. I gained the
impression that the Miners were using a different alarm call for different
raptors and other large birds but later changed my mind. I didn't do an
exhaustive study (I was supposed to be working, after all) but in the end
decided that the alarm call depended on the closeness and immediacy of the
perceived threat. Goshawks, Sparrowhawks and Falcons often came through fast
and low which elicited a strident response, whilst Whistling Kites,
Sea-Eagles and Wedgies tended to drift past at a greater altitude and so got
a milder response. This would be much like you or I looking over a cliff and
seeing a snake on the ground fifty feet below. I would say "Oh, look,
there's a snake" whereas the response if out bushwalking and one of the kids
was about to step on a Tiger Snake would be somewhat less restrained. Just
my opinion.
Paul Osborn

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