2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Variance in Songbird Species' Responses to Mimicked Predator Calls

Luke C. Stock*, Ashley V. Staab, and Kathryn Ashton
Dr. Joanna Hubbard, Faculty Mentor

To test the proposed hypothesis that blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) mimic predator calls to reduce competition for food, we investigated how songbirds at feeder stations respond to predator mimicry. In addition to overall responses, we examined how these vigilance behavior in response to real and mimicked predator calls differed among species and between feeding location (ground vs. on the feeder). We first determined the presence of different songbird species observed on the ground compared to those observed on the feeder. We then determined average vigilance behavior for each observed songbird species before calls were played, while calls were played, and after calls were played. We predict that higher levels of vigilance will be exhibited by songbird species that tend to compete more with blue jays over food. With this analysis, we can further explain the purpose of blue jay predator mimicry as it affects songbirds.

Keywords: Blue Jay, Mimicry, Songbird, Vigilance

Topic(s):Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 202-6
Location: SUB GEO A
Time: 11:30

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