Individual recognition, localisation, territoriality and inter-sexual interactions in antthrushes

Formicarius antthrushes are ground-dwelling birds found in Neotropical rainforests. Hidden in the undergrowth, as they forage in the leaf litter for invertebrates, we usually hear them before we see them. Working with Charles Taylor and Martin Cody at UCLA, amongst others, on a population of Mexican antthrush (Formicarius moniliger) in Chiapas, Mexico, we developed a method to identify individuals from their songs (Kirschel et al. 2009, Bioacoustics), and map their territories (Kirschel et al. 2011, Ibis). We also could localise individuals within a wireless acoustic array at accuracies of ± 25 cm (Collier et al. 2010). In more recent work exploring sex role convergence in a species where both sexes sing, we have tested experimentally how males and females respond to one another's songs.

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