Data from: A nocturnal rail with a simple territorial call eavesdrops on interactions between rivals
Wojas, Lucyna Ewa; Podkowa, Paweł Wojciech; Osiejuk, Tomasz Stanislaw (2019), Data from: A nocturnal rail with a simple territorial call eavesdrops on interactions between rivals, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kg42p
The behaviour of most animals has evolved in a communication network environment, in which signals produced by senders are perceived by many intended and unintended receivers. In this study, we tested whether the corncrake (Crex crex), a nocturnal rail species with innate (non-learned) calls, is able to eavesdrop on the interactions of conspecific males and how this eavesdropping affects subsequent responses by the eavesdropper to territorial intrusion. In the first step, simulated aggressive or neutral interactions between male dyads were presented to a focal male. In the second step, the calls of winning, losing or neutral males from the first step were played within the territory of the focal male. We measured behavioural and vocal responses of focal males. We found that corncrakes eavesdropped on signal exchange between rivals. Males often began responding to distant aggressive interactions during the eavesdropping phase, and they responded strongly during the intrusion phase of the experiments. The response was significantly weaker to playback of males from neutral interactions than to those involved in aggressive interactions, and we found no differences between the responses to Winners and Losers entering a focal male territory.