ML 67945


Band-tailed Guan -- Penelope argyrotis More
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Paul A Schwartz
14 Mar 1974 at 06:00

  • Venezuela
  • Rancho Grande; km 20.5; concrete bridge
  • 10.3666667   -67.6833333
  • 3810 meters
  • Mono
    Sampling Rate
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    Equipment Note

NOTES: Neotropical Institute Cut # 89. Bulk reel: 386.
Ascending whistles, then a display (30-40 seconds) edited out between bird's last whistles and its display. Quality: 2. Level: +3. 203 tape. LN.
From bird's new position: one ascending whistle and then a display. Quality: 2. Level: +3. 203 tape.
While on previous days, and especially on 13/III, the female, after first "appearing" after the male's first display, remained for some time in +/- the same site and the male displayed to and fro centering around her, today the female flew after (and apparently beyond the male each time he displayed and they thus very quickly moved toward their foraging (assumed) sites. This movement was in the same direction as on past days but some five minutes or more each one.
Note: The recordings do not cover the complete activity by the birds, for inevitably some were lost while focusing and especially when it was necessary to move equipment close to the birds on new position.
Note: As all the action was on the (R) channel, it has been re-recorded from N-IVS to N-4.2.
203 tape. Microphone: (L) EV 650, no parabola; (R) Senn 405, 36" parabola.
P. argyrotis - notes of 18/III/74 - No recordings, but observations are of particular interest.
First activity noticed was "series ascending whistles" in one of the customary trees, this one @ upper limit (east end) of the parking area below concrete bridge @ km 20.5. After a number of these, the bird changed to fairly loud "ao" calls with a rather "insistent" or "inquisitive" character. After some times of calling, it made a display flight to the east.
At new position (= #2) bird again called "ao"; no whistles heard, then made display flight further toward east. Then repeat, back toward west, alighting close to #2 position. Then repeat and this time display again to west and flight continued to a bare tree ~ 150 m. to west. Bird called "ao," with same "inquisitive" quality, for a long time, then made a display flilght back toward east, alighting very close to its very first position. Therefore, both this and the previous one were much longer (more distant) than normal display flights. Also this westerly "foray" was well out of the bird's normal displaying area; the previous displays had been within its usual area.
From the last perch bird took off in direction toward the #2 site and when almost there began a display which could not be fully developed due to the short distance remaining. By this time it was very light and observations ended. However, I don't recall why this ended so abruptly; probably because the male flew far away.
Notes: 1) This bird takes off flying @ beginning, planes, and after 1(+?) seconds begins display.
2) Two or three of the displays were seen rather well from behind: the bird's wings beat from slightly above the horizontal to less than (certainly no more than) 45¡ below the horizon.
3) The final abortive display was made with very shallow wing beats: very slightly above the horizon to < 30¡ below. The sound was less "drummy" (although still partially so) and more "rattly."
4) As nearly as have been able to observe, during display the bird holds wings in a stiffly bowed position; during normal flight the primaries flex upward during the down stroke, as one might expect.
Tentative interpretation:
I think the behavior today indicated that the male couldn't locate the female., At no time did I hear a second bird nor the usual female responses, and apparently the male didn't either, so "went looking," using his wing-drumming display in this case either through "hormonal urge" or as an additional attempt to signal the female. (Although I don't recall (should check first recordings) that the female usually replies to the "series ascending whistles" of the male, perhaps she does.) Reason: after giving a number of whistles, this male changed to "ao" calls with a "querying quality." These are louder than the whistle and perhaps the male was trying to get a response so he'd know the female's location; and thus know where to direct his displays and attention. When he obtained no reaction to these or to display he went on trying, with "ao" calls and displays, first in the area where the female had usually been, then farther away, then returning back to the accustomed area.
22/III/74 - 6:05 to 6:10 AM - Bird first heard giving whistles to east of concrete bridge, one of the places from which he has occasionally started activity during past weeks' observervations. He then made a dispaly flight to ~ position #2 (of 18/III). There he gave "ao" calls, not very loud, but no whistles; then he displayed back to from where he started and I heard no more activity. Weather foggy and windy which may explain reduced activity. Note: In making the display flight, the male took off with some shallow wing beats, then sailed and began the display one second, or slightly more, after the takeoff.
23/III - Neither displays nor whistles given today. Eventually heard some "ao" calls up slope from bridge (~ 6:15 AM) and the bird or birds then moved down the slope to judge from new position of calls. Weather worse than yesterday, almost a drizzle; combined foliage drip and wind produced a quite high noise level.
24/III - Essentially same situation as yesterday, including weather. "Ao" calls heard from tree @ east end of concrete bridge. I was able to see the calling bird. After some minutes another bird that I had not seen flew from the more heavily foliaged tree directly overhead (the other bird, visible, was some 10 m. away; my attention to the position of both birds--from the "ao" calls I had located then one bird to approximate position--was directed by successive excretions from each which splattered a few meters away from where I was standing) in an easterly direction; i.e. toward where the pair had been going to forage. After a few moments, the visible bird flew after the first. There was no display; neither were any ascending whistles heard.
28/III - Thin fog @ dawn; had been stormy during night. ~ 6:03 AM heard "ao" calls (and I think a display, too, but this not sure) a fair distance to east of bridge. Bird (probably same) then found giving "ao" calls ~ 200 m. east of bridge; it then made a display flight ~ 6:06 AM in direction toward bridge. From its new position (just east of bridge) it gave a "series ascending whistle," then began calling "ao." After a few moments, a second bird (presumably the female) flew to join the male. They sat there "resting" for some minutes. Then the female flew some 15 m. toward east. Male arose (had been sitting hunched on porch), walking around a bit, then preened, still in the same cecropia where he was. Then female flew back ~ half way toward male's position and he then flew to her new tree but not to where she was, although shortly began walking toward her. Female then flew back again to where she had been and male flew to join her. Both birds were then found to be feeding (6:15 AM).
Misc. notes re: P. argyrotis in vicinity of the nest of Odontophorus, i.e. along trail to the spring, before the "portachuelito."
30 & 31/III/74 - No birds were heard displaying or otherwise, in this area @ dawn.
1/IV - Two or three displays, beginning from the blind's position and moving toward the "portachuelito."
2/IV - No displays or other activity noted.
3/IV - Displays to east of blind, apparently by two birds, one of which produced displays in which both parts were shorter than normal.
4/IV (cf. Cut 90)- Displays in blind region, again by two birds, one of them apparently the same bird with "short" display as yesterday, although at times its display is longer in [sentence unfinished by recordist]. A conflict situation developed apparently as result of both birds courting the female, or because the intruding male tried to court the female.
Microphone: (L) EV 650; (R) Senn 405, 36" parabola. 203 tape.

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