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Thread: Article on Call Playback

  1. #1
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    Default Article on Call Playback

    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS - www.flockwildlife.com

    Aus Life List IOC= 688 - Carpentarian Grasswren
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    A very good read and some good guidelines to think about. Thanks for sharing!

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    Thanks for posting it, I saw it on birding-aus, it's definately an article everyone, especially photographers should read!!
    Aus list 632 (Powerful Owl, Callala Bay, NSW, 01-05-2014, finally thanks Matt!)
    Year list 159 (Powerful Owl, Callala Bay, NSW, 01-05-2014)

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    It's a great read. Especially the parts where it says:

    Be courteous – Before starting, ask your fellow birders if anyone objects to using playback.


    Once I was at Castlereagh with three friends and some well known photographer turned up and blatantly started to play the Regent Honeyeater calls by placing his device directly under the tree where the single bird was feeding totally ignoring the fact that there are other people around, who may actually object to the call playback being used. Nice!

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    Full of good stuff. Thanks for the post David.

    I've learnt very quickly the power of playback. Both the good and the bad.

    On a side note does/has anyone played the alarm calls when a predator(raptor maybe) is present?

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    No Chris, certainly not me. I cannot see the point in doing that as it would scatter any birds in the area away from you, which I think is not what you'd want call playback to achieve? What I think is unnecessary and pointless, but we all probably did it at some time in the beginning (I did I know that), is play an entire repertoire of calls from the one species that you would find on a CD or file. Those could easily contain a number of different calls, alarm, contact, threat etc and you'll possibly just confuse the bird in the end. What I do is separate the calls into what I think and learned are the appropriate ones and only use the ones that I know or consider the basic contact calls. Sometimes I will use a territorial call if I am doing a bird survey for a particular species, but not at other times. I am still learning lots after nearly three years of having exposed myself to using calls (or not), but learning about them.

    Best regards

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    I ( my wife actually did the work) have taken snippets off a call from the commercial cd and burned it onto another cd. By doing that I have left the alarm part of the bird call off the new cd...Has worked a treat so far. But "squeaking " as Richard has said works well for a lot of species.
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they come up with some great ideas..

    Cheers Rev.

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    Default On the subject of alarm calls in playback

    Actually, I think playing back an alarm call has very little effect on birds - and certainly doesnt make them scatter. Its a myth - and not really how birds function at all. If it was true, you could make a lot of money scaring birds from vineyards, orchards and airports. A more likely consequence is that it makes them wary for a short while, look about and assess whether there is a danger, but they rarely blindly scatter. The decision to stay or to flee in the face of a possible threat is a serious one in the animal kingdom and no creature takes it lightly - as a flight reaction is a substantial expenditure of energy and a missed feeding/breeding/etc opportunity. Next time you spot a rabbit at a distance, if it doesnt bolt immediately then watch it, as it sits there nose and ears twitching, trying to work out whether there is a threat (you) about. You might think why not just bolt back to your burrow and get it over with, just to be on the safe side, but it needs to see the threat before it will react to it. The key thing is that an animal exists against a background of constant threat perceptions, most of which are spurious and need to be filtered out without the expenditure of energy.

    Likewise, having a raptor come into view, like a goshawk, doesnt of itself make birds scatter. It makes them wary, but they dont scatter. In fact they will often redouble their feeding efforts once the threat is assessed. Raptors need the element of surprise and when it has lost that advantage they are no threat. Raptor calls also dont unduly affect birds.

    Arron
    www.patonga.me : botany, wildlife, fishing, check it out

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    That's great info Arron thanks mate. I was merely thinking the alarm calls would scatter birds as I have experienced it a couple of times, which made me reconsider the use of those calls. What you are saying makes perfect sense!

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    Excellent post, Arron.

    I remember walking through bush, and I disturbed a large unseen cricket. It promptly jumped/hopped/flew off in fear, was spotted by a Myna, and was quickly caught and devoured.
    Moral is - instant flight is not always the best option in the wild, and a lot of animals know this.

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    Default Re: Article on Call Playback

    For playback I simply use the Morcombe Iphone App Generally the calls are divided up into different types e.g contact calls, alarm calls, group chatter. These all depend on the species and I guess the different calls they managed to collect.

    I have used the alarm call once with Fairy-wrens(Superb or Red-backed can't remebemer). There was a troop in a bush that were chatting as they foraged. I played the call and they all went very quiet. There was silence for a few seconds until I played another call then all of a sudden there was a roar of chatter and they went about their business.

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