Shrike-tit calls [determine significance of differences]

To: "" <>
Subject: Shrike-tit calls [determine significance of differences]
From: colin trainor <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 10:09:32 +0930
Hi -

It would be quite straightforward to determine whether there are differences or 
significant differences in the vocalisations - calls and songs of the various 
Shrike-tits, .....if a group of birding-aus-ers were to collaborate. The 
difficulty might be getting enough sound recording samples.

Could try state govt workers/birders naturalists for more recordings.

For each taxa you might try to get at least 5 songs [larger sample would be 
better of course], and at least 5 contact notes, determine song characteristics 
of the vocalisations [means etc using "Excel"]- max. frequency, min frequency, 
song length, pace (time between songs if relevant) - portray these on sonagrams 
and see if they look different, and where sample sizes allow, try some simple 
statistics [available on the internet or Excel].

If one of the taxa has a particular song or call type that is totally unlike 
other taxa, that would be of value to document. The basic documentation and 
description of calls and songs of each taxa would be of value on its own.

You might call it a "Preliminary examination of species limits in 
Shrike-tits..." and it would be publishable in Aust Field Ornithologist, or 
elsewhere [one of the collaborators would need to be keen to write].  

Creating sonograms and calculating song characteristics could be done in Raven 
Lite program, free download:

Theres many examples of such analyses, heres one showing sonograms of various 
geographic representatives of the "Large-billed Crow" of Asia:




Shrike-tit calls


Graeme Chapman <>


Sun, 13 Jan 2013 16:14:17 +1100

Hello Peter,

Just to pick up on your comment that "I'm not sure where Phil's idea of 'very 
different Calls' comes from". Until I'd spent some time at O'Reillys in the 
rainforest I would have agreed with Phil - the calls of Northern Shrike Tits do 
sound different to Eastern Shrike-tits but now that I have had more experience 
I would modify that statement to ......sound different to most Eastern 

In my experience, the rainforest inhabiting birds at O'Reillys (a very odd 
habitat for a Shrike-tit) do have in their repertoire calls that are almost 
identical to the northern Shrike-tits at Drysdale River. I've heard and 
recorded lots of Eastern Shrike-tits and haven't heard "northern" type calls 
anywhere but at O'Reillys. I would be interested to know where you've heard 
these calls in the east - they must surely occur elsewhere because you are 
obviously familiar with them. Unfortunately we know so little about the entire 
repertoire of all but a few of our native birds in Australia that it's 
downright embarrassing.

For those who are interested in the different Shrike-tit calls, my website has 
a  good selection where they can be compared easily .


 Graeme Chapman


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