Hungry chicks have unique calls for getting parents’ attention

January 26th, 2011 - 5:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 26 (ANI): A new study has found that bird babies have unique calls when trying to get their parents’ attention.

“Weaver bird chicks have two parts to their call; a “whistle-like” call followed by a “trill-like” call. In a non-hungry state, these parts of the call are slightly different from bird to bird,., and this allows the mother to identify their chicks,” said Hendrik Reers.

“As the chicks get hungrier, as you might expect with any baby, the call gets louder and more energetic, but each bird still has a unique way of modifying their “normal” call to an “I’m hungry” call. These results imply that parents have to be familiar with their chicks’ begging calls in order to estimate their hunger precisely.”

The German and Swiss ornithologists found that the weaver bird chicks changed the length, pitch and amplitude of their begging calls, adding extra trills and shortening whistles.

The hungrier a chick got, the more unique the call became.

The study is published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Ecology. (ANI)

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