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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1993/3024

Title: Tests of two functions of alarm calls given by yellow warblers during nest defence
Authors: Gill, SA
Sealy, SG
Keywords: RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS
COWBIRD PARASITISM
DENDROICA-PETECHIA
PARENTAL INVESTMENT
DELTA MARSH
ALERT CALLS
PREDATION
MANITOBA
SIGNALS
BIRDS
Issue Date: 31-Oct-2003
Citation: 0008-4301; CAN J ZOOL, OCT 2003, vol. 81, no. 10, p.1685 to 1690.
Abstract: During nest defence, yellow warblers (Dendroica petechia) give "seet" and "chip" calls. Seet calls are given preferentially toward brood parasitic brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) during the yellow warblers' egg-laying period, whereas chip calls are given toward mammalian and avian nest predators throughout the nesting period. In this study, we investigated two possible functions of seet and chip calls during nest defence by playing alarm calls to nesting yellow warblers. We tested whether nest owners give seet and chip calls during defence to alert their offspring and their mates about nest threats and, in the latter case, whether the alarm calls differ in function depending on nesting stage. In response to playbacks, nestlings remained inactive for a significantly longer period when chip calls were played than when seet calls were played. Female yellow warblers returned to their nesting areas more quickly when seet calls were played than when chip calls were played, but pairs were equally likely to return to the nesting area in response to both call types. These findings suggests that both seet and chip calls alert mates but that only chip calls function to alert nestlings of potential danger.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1993/3024
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/z03-162
Appears in Collection(s):Research Publications (UofM Student, Faculty and Staff only access)

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