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Sexual differences in vocalisations and playback-response behaviour of the Vanuatu petrel (Pterodroma occulta)

TitleSexual differences in vocalisations and playback-response behaviour of the Vanuatu petrel (Pterodroma occulta)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsTotterman, SL
JournalNotornis
Volume59
Issue3&4
Pagination97-104
Type of ArticleArticle
KeywordsPterodroma occulta, Vanuatu petrel, vocalisations
Abstract

Sexual differences in vocalisations of the Vanuatu petrel (Pterodroma occulta) are described. Qualitative differences in burrow calls could be used to sex adults with 63-100% accuracy in listening experiments. Males sounded “clear” and females sounded “hoarse”. Higher accuracy is possible with the aid of spectrograms. Playback experiments demonstrated a male-bias in responses of incubating Vanuatu petrels to “war-whooping” and flight calls. Acoustic methods have practical and ethical advantages over handling breeding petrels and further studies of the vocal behaviour of gadfly-petrels are encouraged.

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