Eavesdropping on the neighbours: fledglings learn to respond to heterospecific alarm calls

Young birds and mammals suffer from a high risk of predation, and should be under strong selection for early response to cues indicating danger, including the alarm calls of other species. Despite this prediction, there has been little investigation of the development of response by young animals to heterospecific alarm calls, and none on fledgling […]

Begging response of gull chicks to the red spot on the parental bill

In some animals, offspring begging is elicited by parents through behavioural or morphological signals. The red spot on the lower mandible in adult gulls is one of the best-known examples of a signal triggering chick begging. We examined whether the begging response of chicks (pecking for food and the chatter call for drawing parental attention) […]

Effect of ambient noise on parent–offspring interactions in tree swallows

Many recent studies suggest that increased ambient noise can disrupt acoustic communication in animals and might ultimately decrease their reproductive success. Most of these studies have focused on long-distance signals used in mate attraction and territory defence, but close-range acoustic interactions between parents and offspring may also be disrupted by noise and are closely linked […]