Translator Disclaimer
1 January 2001 THE “PREDATOR EARLY WARNING SYSTEM” OF RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS
Nicole Burton, Ken Yasukawa
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) are known to give alarm calls in response to the approach of a predator, and to encode information about the level of threat in their calling behavior. To determine whether such sentinel males alert females, we conducted a simple field experiment in which we measured the distances at which incubating females flushed from their nests in response to the approach of a human observer. Using a matched-pairs design, we measured flushing distances with a sentinel male present (mean 19.8 m), and when the same male was absent from his territory (mean 10.4 m). Female Red-winged Blackbirds flushed from their nests at significantly greater distances when males were present than when males were absent. These results and those of other studies support the existence of a “predator early warning system” in the Red-winged Blackbird.

Nicole Burton and Ken Yasukawa "THE “PREDATOR EARLY WARNING SYSTEM” OF RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS," Journal of Field Ornithology 72(1), 106-112, (1 January 2001). https://doi.org/10.1648/0273-8570-72.1.106
Received: 26 October 1999; Accepted: 1 March 2000; Published: 1 January 2001
JOURNAL ARTICLE
7 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

Share
SHARE
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top