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Calling rhythm as a predictor of the outcome of vocal interactions: flight departure in pale-winged starling pairs

Abstract : Vocal communication plays an important role in the regulation of social interactions and the coordination of activities in many animal species. Synchrony is an essential part of the establishment and maintenance of pair bonds, but few reports have investigated decision-making at the pair level. We investigated temporal characteristics of call exchanges in pale-winged starlings (Onychognathus nabouroup) that could predict whether one, two, or neither members of a pair would take off. Our analysis of these interactions revealed that the overall rhythm of a call exchange, as well as the acceleration towards the end of an interaction, were significantly associated with the type of behavioural outcome. Faster rhythms were associated with higher probabilities that both birds would fly away. Our results confirm the findings of previous studies showing that higher rates of alarm calls indicate imminent departure and highlight the relationship between temporal features of vocal interactions and their outcome.
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Martine Hausberger, Aline Giacalone, Mariane Harmand, Adrian J.F.K. Craig, Laurence Henry. Calling rhythm as a predictor of the outcome of vocal interactions: flight departure in pale-winged starling pairs. The Science of Nature Naturwissenschaften, Springer Verlag, 2020, 107 (1), pp.2. ⟨10.1007/s00114-019-1658-1⟩. ⟨hal-02402295⟩

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