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Starling Response to Three Auditory Stimuli

Ron J. Johnson, Patrick H. Cole and Walter W. Stroup
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 49, No. 3 (Jul., 1985), pp. 620-625
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801683
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801683
Page Count: 6
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Starling Response to Three Auditory Stimuli
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Abstract

Recordings of a European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) distress call, a white noise, and a 917-Hz pure tone were presented to starlings in an outdoor enclosure to determine their relative effectiveness in frightening the birds into flight and away from a food source. Stimuli were presented during early morning hours of 2 consecutive days during summer and winter. The pure tone elicited essentially no response. Early responses (first 10 presentations) to the distress call and white noise did not differ (P > 0.05) except on the 2nd test day of winter, when the distress call received a greater early response (P < 0.05). In later presentations, the call elicited greater responses (P < 0.05) and slower habituation (P < 0.05). On the 2nd test day, rehabituation to white noise was consistently faster than initial habituation (P < 0.05); rehabituation to the call was faster during summer (P < 0.05) but not winter (P > 0.05). Summer responses to both sounds were greater than those in winter (P < 0.05).

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