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Vocal similarity and familiarity determine response to potential flockmates in orange-fronted conures (Psittacidae)

Authors
  • Balsby, Thorsten J.S.
  • Adams, Danielle M.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Animal Behaviour
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Accepted Date
Jan 28, 2011
Volume
81
Issue
5
Pages
983–991
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.01.034
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

In social species with fission–fusion dynamics, individuals have the opportunity to recruit other individuals selectively by calling. An individual’s decision to call to another could be determined by previous interactions with that individual, which would require individuals to be able to discriminate others based on their vocalizations and associate knowledge with their vocal identity. Alternatively, this decision may be determined solely by the current interaction. In a playback experiment, we tested the ability of orange-fronted conures, Aratinga canicularis to discriminate between calls of familiar and unfamiliar females. Males were able to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar calls from different females. Furthermore, test birds seemed to associate experience from the previous interaction with the vocal characteristics of the familiar call, but this result was marginally nonsignificant. The success of the playback in imitating the test bird’s contact call in the current interaction proved important, as high similarity between playback and the test bird’s contact calls elicited a stronger response from it. The importance of call imitation during current interactions probably reflects the fact that orange-fronted conures live in flocks with fission–fusion dynamics and therefore often interact with unfamiliar individuals.

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