Sexual and individual differences in wedge-tailed shearwater (Puffinus pacificus) burrow calls and vocal recognition
|Title||Sexual and individual differences in wedge-tailed shearwater (Puffinus pacificus) burrow calls and vocal recognition|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Type of Article||Full Article|
Calls and playback-response behaviour of breeding wedge-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus) were studied at Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. Burrow calls were recorded from 45 females and 60 males. Male calls averaged higher in fundamental frequency and longer in note lengths than female calls, although ranges overlapped. Playback experiments demonstrated sexual recognition, with incubating females mostly responding to female playbacks. Males responded to both female and male calls. Ratios of between- to within-subject variation suggested that individual vocal signatures could be encoded in timing and some frequency parameters. Playback experiments demonstrated a “dear enemy” effect, where shearwaters in burrows were more responsive to stranger rather than neighbour calls. Wedge-tailed shearwater calls are informative and further studies are encouraged for other southern hemisphere breeding shearwaters.