Large Niltava – warning calls at nest

posted in: Videography, Vocalisation | 0

“The classical calls of the Large Niltava (Niltava grandis decipiens) have always been magical to me since my younger days of visiting the hill stations. They have a fairy, ethereal like quality. Glenister (1971) describes them best ‘It is the author of one of the most characteristic sounds of the mountain jungle – a plaintive, soft, yet far carrying, musical whistle of three ascending notes’. Many authors have rendered this musical note into words but almost always in different forms. The calls are not given very frequent and minutes may pass before they are repeated.

“On this occasion, while watching a pair of nesting Large Niltavas, we observed a variation of the call, used as a warning call. These calls were given by the adult male whenever we came close to the nest location, even at a distance of 8-10 meters. The male would move into the nearby foliage and call repeatedly at a fast pace (see both the short handheld video below and the amplified audio recording in HERE). The calls are made with the beak hardly opening much but with the throat puffed out slightly (top). Sonogram and waveform is shown above.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

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