Response of Great-Tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) to indirect auditory evidence of predator presence




Minjares, Uriel
Skipper, Ben

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Predator detection is a key behavior promoting the survival of individuals. Animals rely on numerous direct sources of information to be aware of nearby predators.  These sources include, visual, olfactory, tactile, and auditory information on predator presence.  Additionally, individuals may utilize indirect information regarding predator presence.  Such indirect information has been termed “eavesdropping” and notable examples include the use of alarm calls emitted by heterospecifics. Another potential cue in urban areas may be the flushing noise that is created when a large number of birds are disturbed. The degree to which indirect information is used by birds is currently unknown.  We investigated the use of an indirect auditory cue (flushing noise) by Great-tailed Grackles within the city of San Angelo, TX. Grackles were exposed to acoustic signals of pigeons flushing and their behaviors were compared before and after the flush noise was played. We observed no significant difference between the behaviors exhibited by Grackles before and after exposure to the flush noise



Behavior, Biology, Great-Tailed Grackle, eavesdropping