Date of Award

2010

Publication Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Daniel Mennill

Keywords

Biological sciences

Rights

info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

Communication plays a crucial role in the social behaviour of many animals. In this thesis, I examine both signalling strategies and landscape-scale communication in free-living Common Loons (Gavia immer). Using over 6700 hours of passive, single-channel recordings, I demonstrate that Common Loons modify their vocal behaviour in response to time of day, time of year, and changing weather conditions. Using custom software, CALLSPACE, in combination with a ten-microphone acoustic monitoring system that spans three lakes, I examine the dynamics of over 5000 natural vocal interactions among Common Loons. I demonstrate that Common Loons from different territories participate in dyadic and multi-individual vocal interactions that span several kilometres both within and between lakes. Overall, my research provides important empirical evidence for animal signalling strategies in the natural environment and a comprehensive, observational record of large-scale communication in free-living territorial birds.

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