ML 68823


Pavonine Cuckoo -- Dromococcyx pavoninus More
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Human Imitiation



Response to playback: Approach.  

Paul A Schwartz
30 Mar 1973 at 06:25

  • Venezuela
  • Rancho Grande; km 31 (new)
  • 10.3666667   -67.6833333
  • 570 meters
  • Mono
    Sampling Rate
    Bit Depth
  • Sennheiser MKH 405
  • Parabola 91.4cm (36in)
    Equipment Note

NOTES: Neotropical Institute Cut # 20. Bulk reel: 406
Weather: Slightly foggy. Song by male. (This bird, or at least a male, had started singing naturally @ 6:07 AM; it was rather far away -- same song heard on Cut 7 Penelope purpurascens. When I finished the work with the guan, I whistled male song; the bird replied vocally but didn't come close. However, as soon as I whistled female song, the male came in at once. Quality: 1. Level: 0. 203 tape. 3 3/4 ips. Low noise.
Recording made after male came in (only part of it saved) and then with my whistling female song. Quality: 1. Level: 0. 203 tape. 7.5 ips. Low noise.
The bird's "attitude" (position) in reacting to my imitation was rather hunched over with body puffed up, upper tail coverts puffed up, tail fanned out. The alulas were constantly, actively moved. Also I noticed this time, although had not noticed it before, that a tuft of the whitish (downy?) flank feathers projects up over the primaries, which are not extended, providing a light background as contrast for the moving dark alulas (when the bird is seen +/- from the front).
Also noted today (and had noted it previously when with Neal Smith) that when the male is very excited by repeated playback or whistles, it approaches to the vicinity of the "intruder" and "crawls" (i.e. walks crouched down) back and forth over the ground.
No females heard here today! Cf. notes of 21, 23, 27/II/73 on back of Cut 18 pages.
12/IV/73 - Male heard way up slope @ km 17. (6:00 to 6:15 AM.)
13/IV/73 - Male heard @ swift cliff colony (@ km 16.5). (6:00 to 6:15 AM.)
14/IV/73 - Male heard @ kim 17.5; its reactions to various whistles were typical. I then went to km 17 and whistled female song. Very shortly a female replied, giving first two-figure phrases, then three-figure (recorder not set up when I prepared recording equipment; no matter what I tried (male or female song) would bring any further reaction from the female. (Note: At this time it was still quite dry. No rain until Easter = 22/IV).
15/IV/73 - Male singing naturally @ km 18 (~6:00 AM), up the slope; then went to km 17.5 and a male was singing there, too. Just after this, when returning to EBRG, @ ~ 6:15 AM @ km 18.5 I heard a female singing. By time I could park the car she stopped. I whistled female song and after a few minutes she replied with female song. By time I got out the N-IV recorder the female had stopped singing again. Meanwhile a male was heard to sing far away; when the female started to sing the second time, the male came right down to the area; it turned out to be the "triplet" male which had been found here before. Some of this was recorded on SN and is filed as Cut 16.
Note that after the female reacted vocally the first time, she would not again react vocally. (This was ~ same situation I found with female when out with Neal Smith). However, even after the male had arrived and was in her same vicinity, the female would react to my whistled female song by flying back and forth repeatedly. (The male did reply vocally (and excitedly) to my female imitation), so it seems she reacted territorially to this site. (A later interjected note: I suspect males may live essentially in one territory, but females travel around.)
The attitude of this female, which from other observations seems +/- typical, is to sit "hunched down" on perch (i.e. not alert appearing); the tail is not fanned out, the alulas are in the normal position (not extended, nor moved) (but see note of 21/II/73(?), on reverse of Cut 15).
Note: When the female replied to my imitation, it was after some minutes delay and then she began her song in the typical female way: one single, long drawn-out note, the first two-figure phrase also somewhat drawn out, those following of ~ "normal" length.
7/V/73 - Heard normal male song, beginning @ 5:52 AM @ km 18.

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