Skip to content

Warning Calls Decoded: Squirrels Take Up Bird Alarms To Foil The Enemy

September 3, 2015

Alert blog reader Nadia Albright sent us this link which she found on the NPR iPhone App, but any computer can tune into it.

In the NPR Weekly series:
Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound, Morning Edition
the latest installment (9/3/15) is:
Warning Calls Decoded: Squirrels Take Up Bird Alarms To Foil The Enemy by Christopher Joyce

The series is profiling scientists who explore the natural world by listening to it. This particular installment features an interview with, among others, the late Ted Parker,

Ted Parker in Guyana(Haroldo Castro, Conservation International - Cornell Labs Website)

Ted Parker in Guyana
(Haroldo Castro, Conservation International – Cornell Labs Website)

who probably had the most extraordinary ear ever in the world of birding, able to identify (I have read) over 10,000 different songs and calls by ear. I didn’t know this, but he was also instrumental in developing the technique of recording singing birds, playing their song back at them, causing the singer to come and find their new competitor, and using this reaction to map the outline of the singer’s territory.  They discuss “mobbing” calls birds use and have discovered that squirrels understand and use them as well.

Close listening NPR series Click
Squirrels take up Bird AlarmsClick
Thanks for the heads-up, Nadia.
[Chuck Almdale]

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: