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Research Articles

The repertoire and structure of vocalizations of the Southern Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis ceylonensis) in the Kandy region, Sri Lanka

Authors:

Saumya Wanniarachchi ,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About Saumya
Department of Zoology
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Chaminda S. Wijesundara

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About Chaminda S.
Department of Zoology
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Abstract

Bird vocalizations could be used to analyze various ecological aspects and hypotheses as the environment affects the evolution of acoustic signals. Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis ceylonensis) is one such ideal candidate for ecological studies in Sri Lanka since it shows a wide variety of interesting behaviors including elaborative vocalizations. Yet, there has been hardly any scientific studies directed towards the vocalization activities or on the ecological aspects of this bird. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the vocalization behavior and its physical parameters in order to identify the characteristics that need further studying and to understand the role of this bird in its habitats. The study was carried out in two sites, Peradeniya and Balagolla located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka between February and August, 2015. Behavioral observation was done according to the focal animal sampling method, and continuous recording was used as the sampling rule. Vocalizations were video recorded using a Canon SX 700 digital camera containing a built-in microphone. Recorded acoustic data were transcribed and a sonogram was obtained for each vocalization pattern. Parameters such as maximum frequency, minimum frequency duration, and intervals between phrases were used to describe and analyze the physical features of the vocalization. The dominant call of magpie robin was an inflection note. Alarm call had a physical structure fulfilling the requirements of a mobbing call. The structure of the territorial songs of the Magpie Robin ranged from simple to complex notations and holds a physical structure conducive to communicating in open habitats. Males aggressively defended territory boundaries by the usage of complex and elaborate songs.
How to Cite: Wanniarachchi, S., & Wijesundara, C. S. (2016). The repertoire and structure of vocalizations of the Southern Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis ceylonensis) in the Kandy region, Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science, 45(3), 47–54. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjs.v45i3.7400
Published on 30 Nov 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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