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Acoustic data of calls of Manx shearwater on Lundy Island

Cite this dataset

Sun, Yuheng; Dunning, Jamie; Schroeder, Julia; Zollinger, Sue Anne (2023). Acoustic data of calls of Manx shearwater on Lundy Island [Dataset]. Dryad.


Vocalizations are widely used to signal behavioural intention in animal communication, but may also carry additional information encoded in the signal, in particular, vocalisations may carry acoustic signatures unique to the calling individual. Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) are nocturnal seabirds that breed in dense colonies, where they must recognize and locate mates among thousands of conspecifics calling in the dark. There is evidence for individual vocal signatures in two shearwater species, but quantitative data on the vocalisations of Manx shearwater are lacking. We recorded calls of 13 Manx shearwaters on Lundy Island, UK, by eliciting vocal responses to playback of conspecific calls. We measured several spectral and temporal parameters of the calls, applied linear discriminate analysis with leave-one-out cross-validation, and have confirmed the individual vocal signatures. We then calculated among-individual repeatability of 34 features describing the vocalization to determine the extent to which these features may contribute to individual signature coding. We found that calls cluster by individual in both temporal and spectral characteristics, suggesting these are contributing to Manx shearwaters’ unique call signatures.


Imperial College London