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.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Woodpecker drumming signals wimp or warrior


Date: March 4, 2016
Source: Wake Forest University

Animal behavior researchers at Wake Forest University have found that the highly territorial downy woodpecker interprets drumming intensity from adversaries to figure out who is or isn't a threat.

Instead of a distinctive song, woodpeckers bang on trees with their bills to create a sound called drumming. The birds use it to communicate when they want to attract a mate or defend a territory. Wake Forest assistant professor of biology Matthew Fuxjager and his research team, which consists of graduate student Eric Schupee and several undergraduates, tested how woodpecker pairs perceived the drumming to see how it influenced territorial interaction and coordination of defensive behavior.

"Partners will actually coordinate or cooperate with how they fight depending on who they are fighting. They size up their opponent and decide whether they need to work together," Fuxjager said. "In short, it means an intruder woodpecker with a short drum is perceived as wimpier, while a long drum signifies a tough guy intruder."



No comments:

Post a comment