Calls of nestling and fledgling marsh tits Poecile palustris

Broughton, Richard K. ORCID: 2021 Calls of nestling and fledgling marsh tits Poecile palustris. Ringing & Migration, 34 (12). 95-102.

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Many knowledge gaps exist in the descriptions of the vocal repertoires of most bird species, and particularly for the calls of nestlings and fledglings. This short descriptive study presents the first sonograms and descriptions of the nestling calls of Marsh Tits in three nests, and also a previously unrecorded call of a female parent initiating begging by young chicks. A previously unrecorded defensive call by a nestling is also documented. Field observations of the calls of fledglings are also described, including the timing of the development of adult-type calls. The results show that short, simple ‘peep’ calls of six-day-old nestlings developed into more complex ‘begging trills’, comprising clusters of several notes, by day 13 after hatching. Several variant ‘begging trills’ appeared by day 19 (the day before fledging), and are distinct from the begging calls of closely related species. Fledglings continued to use begging trills and also produced clear adult-type contact calls, ‘pitchou’ and ‘chick-a-dee’ calls by day 5 after fledging. Young males were singing by 11 days after fledging (one day after post-fledging dispersal). The results are discussed in the context of similar species, and how the increasing availability of sound-recording equipment can encourage more gaps in knowledge to be filled.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0307-8698
Additional Keywords: begging calls, chickadee, sonograms, vocal repertoire, vocalisation development, wildlife sound recording
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 16 Mar 2021 12:45 +0 (UTC)

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