ML 68822


Pavonine Cuckoo -- Dromococcyx pavoninus More
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Human Imitiation




Paul A Schwartz
3 Mar 1973 at 06:35

  • Venezuela
  • Rancho Grande; km 19+ (old) (=17 new)
  • 10.3666667   -67.6833333
  • 950 meters
  • Mono
    Sampling Rate
    Bit Depth
    Equipment Note

NOTES: Neotropical Institute Cut # 19. Bulk reel: 406. 139 tape.
Shortly after I arrived at this site I heard a male singing way up hillside (north of road). My whistled imitation of male song brought no apparent reaction. I then whistled female song and the male came somewhat closer; with more imitation it came right down to general area. However, at some time a second male appeared (was heard) across the road (south of road) and almost at same time a female song was also heard in woods on north side of road. Just as I began to record, the female stopped; she was singing mainly the three-figure song. The males remained +/- active; cf. Recording 1) during which female also sang briefly. (She sang seldom and always briefly in the beginning; afterward she didnÕt sing at all.)
Cf. Recording 2). (In flying to me in reaction to female imitation, the cuckoo was attacked by a h'bird.)
Note that male in view actively moved the alulas when excited by whistled imitation of female song. After a long time of "playing" with the birds, they gradually became habituated to the two-figure female song. If I then used the three-figure song, the males immediately regained interest. As this proved true on previous occasions, I suspect the three-figure female song is one of higher level of "invitation."
Note: Numerous trials made with male song imitation; they brought no reaction.
After it was obvious that the two males had seen each other, I noticed the male in my view sat hunched with tail spread (fanned out) wide like a turkey (although down in normal position); also its alulas were not extended. Both males responded to female imitation, their voices often [sentence unfinished by recordist].
Then second bird flew up and alighted no more than five m. from the other. It had overlapping tailed fanned like the other bird. [sic] Neither bird responded to song imitation of female at first, apparently being more interested in each other. One finally did respond; then when other responded, too, the first chased it immediately!
1) Song by two males, recorded nearer the higher-voiced bird. This was at beginning of the session, shortly after female had first sung and then stopped. The lower-voiced male continued song regularly but the higher-voiced did not, so I whistled female imitation periodically to which he replied immediately. At one place the real female sang two or three two-figure phrases and the male responded to her. Level: 0-3. No parabola. 3.75 ips. Copy on N-4.2, from SN.
2) After a silence of ~ 10 minutes, I whistled male song with no reaction by birds (only a portion saved); when I tried female song the reaction was immediate. In last part the parabola is focused on the bird. Quality: 1. Level: -3. 3.75 ips. 24" parabola.
3) Part of some male song recorded under good conditions (kept as reference and comparison with other recordings made directly on N-III and N-IV.) Quality: 1. Level: 0. 7.5 ips. 24" parabola.
Then some of both males, focused on one of them; with another illustration of influence of female song (see above), then of one male, ditto. Quality: 1. Level: 0. 24" parabola. Tape speed: 7.5.
4) Two males, close together but not in view of each, both respond to female imitation. Then two males in view of each other. Quality: 1. Level: 0. 3.75 ips.

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