The Effect of an Indirect Predator Cue on Veery (Catharus fuscescens) Dusk Chorus
Reinhardt, Andrea L
MetadataShow full item record
In passerines, song serves as a vital component of communication, either to solicit a mate or defend a territory. In the presence of a predator, however, vocal communication can be detrimental, making individuals more susceptible to the risk of predation. Singing at dusk, when light levels are diminished, can exacerbate this risk, particularly for a primarily diurnal species. As an adaptive means of assessing risk, organisms can acquire information regarding the surrounding environment, particularly risk, via heterospecific eavesdropping to make informed decisions. Here, I investigated whether a diurnal passerine, the Veery (Catharus fuscescens), eavesdroped on indirect predator cues, the seet alarm call of the Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), at dusk. Using a playback design, three 30-second pulses of barred owl calls were broadcasted over the course of a 25-minute period surrounding sunset (i.e., when dusk chorus vocalizations are maximized), while Veery dusk chorusing behavior was simultaneously recorded. Using paired t-tests, I determined that Veeries did not modify their dusk chorusing behavior in the presence of indirect predatory cues.