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Publication - Mr Ed Drewitt

    Nocturnal playbacks reveal hidden differences in singing behaviour between populations of Robin Erithacus rubecula

    Citation

    Thomas, R, Drewitt, E, Kelly, D, Marples, N & Semple, S, 2003, ‘Nocturnal playbacks reveal hidden differences in singing behaviour between populations of Robin Erithacus rubecula’. Bird Study, vol 50., pp. 84 - 87

    Abstract

    Capsule Birds subjected to playbacks of conspecific song responded strongly by day in both Wales and Ireland, and strongly at night only in Wales.
    Aims To test the responses of Robins to conspecific playbacks between Wales and Ireland and between day and night.
    Methods We measured the responses of Robins to conspecific playbacks during daylight, and at night on territories illuminated by streetlights, and compared Robins in Wales and in Ireland.
    Results Most Welsh Robins responded to playbacks at night, whereas Irish Robins rarely responded. Both populations responded equally during daylight.
    Conclusions We show for the first time that different populations with similar daytime behaviours may differ in nocturnal behaviour. Such population differences in communication behaviour should be taken into account, for example when using acoustic playback to census populations.

    Full details in the University publications repository