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Macrogeographic Variation in Alarm Calls of the Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen

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Australian Magpies use several types of loud, long-distance calls in contexts involving potential danger. Alarm call repertoires of Australian Magpies in two separate populations, one in New Zealand and the other in Queensland, Australia, show strong geographic variation. Some call types occurred only in the New Zealand population, while other call types occurred only in the Australian population. Some of the alarm call types that occurred in both populations varied in context between the two populations. The existence of such macrogeographic variation suggests that alarm calls are probably learned in this species.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/015613890791749055

Publication date: December 1, 1990

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  • Bird Behavior is an international and interdisciplinary journal that publishes high-quality, original research on descriptive and experimental analyses of species-typical avian behavior, including the areas of ethology, behavioral ecology, comparative psychology, and behavioral neuroscience.
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