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Data from: Behavioral responses to conspecific mobbing calls are predator-specific in great tits (Parus major)

Citation

Kalb, Nadine; Randler, Christoph (2019), Data from: Behavioral responses to conspecific mobbing calls are predator-specific in great tits (Parus major), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1v31m0c

Abstract

When facing a predator, animals need to perform an appropriate anti-predator behavior such as escaping or mobbing to prevent predation. Many bird species exhibit distinct mobbing behaviors and vocalizations once a predator has been detected. In some species, mobbing calls transmit information about predator type, size and threat, which can be assessed by conspecifics. We recently found that great tits (Parus major) produce longer D calls with more elements and longer intervals between elements when confronted with a sparrowhawk, a high-threat predator, in comparison to calls produced in front of a less-threatening tawny owl. In the present study, we conducted a playback experiment to investigate if these differences in mobbing calls elicit different behavioral responses in adult great tits. We found tits to have a longer latency time and to keep a greater distance to the speaker when sparrowhawk mobbing calls were broadcast. This suggests that tits are capable of decoding information about predator threat in conspecific mobbing calls. We further found a tendency for males to approach faster and closer than females, which indicates that males are willing to take higher risks in a mobbing context than females.

Usage Notes

Location

Tuebingen
Germany