As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Tiny birds ‘cry hawk’ to give offspring chance to escape predators

June 2, 2015
University of Cambridge
New research has found that the 6 gram brown thornbill mimics the hawk alarm calls of neighboring species to scare a nest predator by convincing it that a much bigger and scarier predator -- the brown goshawk -- is on its way.
Currawongs, which raid the nests and hunt the chicks of thornbills, are also prey to goshawks. Although currawongs normally benefit from listening in on hawk alarm calls of other species, thornbills exploit this and turn it against them.
As well as issuing their own hawk alarm call, thornbills mimic those of the local species to create the impression of an impending hawk attack, which in turn distracts the pied currawong -- a predator 40 times larger than the thornbill -- providing thornbill nestlings with an opportunity to escape.

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