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Jack of all calls and master of few: vocal mimicry in the Tawny Lark (Galerida deva)

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Despite its prevalence across bird taxa, avian vocal mimicry remains a poorly studied field of animal behaviour. In order to advance our understanding of the function of avian vocal mimicry, the field requires that the range of vocal mimicry in birds is described. The Tawny Lark (or Sykes's Lark, Galerida deva) is endemic to central and western India. Recent work on other Galerida larks has found that the mimetic vocalisations match the biodiversity of their acoustic environment, thereby conferring a significant novel function in study of individual mimetic variation linked to biodiversity. Here, we provide a detailed account of the variety of mimetic sounds produced by the Tawny Lark. We also describe acoustic and peer-based analyses that gauge the accuracy of the mimicry. By providing a detailed description of mimicry, we provide a basis for future study of the function of mimicry in this species.
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Keywords: ACOUSTIC ANALYSIS; BIRDS; GALERIDA DEVA; INDIA; LARKS; REPERTOIRE; TAWNY LARK; VOCAL MIMICRY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2017

This article was made available online on 07 July 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Jack of all calls and master of few: vocal mimicry in the Tawny Lark (Galerida deva)".

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  • Avian Biology Research provides a forum for the publication of research in every field of ornithology. It covers all aspects of pure and applied ornithology for wild or captive species as well as research that does not readily fit within the publication objectives of other ornithological journals. By considering a wide range of research fields for publication, Avian Biology Research provides a forum for people working in every field of ornithology. The journal also includes sections on avian news, conference diary and book reviews.

    Editor-in-Chief: Charles Deeming Editors: Tom Pike; Dale Sandercock; Claudia Wascher; Josh Firth; David Wilkinson; Jim Reynolds Production Editor: Claire Pike

    Cover image: Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra). Credit: jurra8/Shutterstock.com.

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