But when one false alarm call stops working, drongos mimic a different alarm call, keeping â¦ Drongos produced both their own alarm calls and mimicked alarm calls of other species in their false alarm â¦ Earlier, I talked about how the African Fork-tailed Drongo tricks meerkats with a false alarm call. The Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus), also known as the King Crow, is a small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family Dicruridae. Drongo false alarm calls include a number of different drongo-specific or mimicked alarm calls, typically of high frequency and small bandwidth, which are the same as true alarm calls made by drongos and mimicked species in response to aerial predators (Flower 2011). The problem with using these false alarm calls to gain food from other species, usually food that drongos are unable to gain themselves, is that if you are deceptive too often then your hosts will stop responding. False alarms increased overall success, and were produced when stealing small food items unprofitable to gain by physical attack, or when stealing from larger species more likely to defend food (Chapter 4). To determine whether drongo-specific alarm calls were the same when made in true and false alarms, I compared structural components of one of the drongo-specific alarm calls, the âchinkâ call, when made by the same drongo in true and false alarms (figure 1a âc). The babblers seem to have started down this road â they largely ignore false versions of the drongoâs own alarm call. The researchers played back alarm calls to babblers and demonstrated that birds become habituated to false alarms, but will respond again if the type of alarm call is changed. The drongo-specific and mimicked calls made in false alarms were structurally indistinguishable from calls made during true alarms at predators by drongos and other species. However, just as in Aesop's fable about the boy who cried wolf, the drongo can make too many false alarms and cause members of the exploited species to wise up. The scientists noticed that sometimes the other animals âget wiseâ to the con and ignore repeated false alarm calls. S. Harsha K. Satischandra, Prasanna Kodituwakku, Sarath W. Kotagama, Eben Goodale, Assessing âfalseâ alarm calls by a drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) in â¦ Assessing "false" alarm calls by a drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) in mixed-species bird flocks Drongo foraging success was greater after false alarm calls than after silence or nonalarm vocalizations, and playback of false alarms in the air induced escape behavior in other species, though at a lower level than actual alarms.
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