Pin-striped Tit-babbler – song

posted in: Vocalisation | 0

“I was on a low hill, on this trail through primary jungle, at 7.45am when I heard the ‘song’ and saw the Pin-striped Tit-babbler (Macronus gularis gularis) calling out. I have often heard these calls and usually been fooled into thinking these were barbet calls. Seeing the bird actually make this ‘song’ allowed for some realisation of past observations.

“Pin-striped Tit Babblers are very sociable and this group was 5-6 birds. However, I only saw one bird make the calls (during the ~ 20 minute period that I observed this bird). The bird was perched in a branch and would puff up the neck air sacs with the neck appearing bare, lean forwards and upwards when calling (see image & composite: above, below).

“The beak would often be open fairly fully but I did not capture this well. The other Pin-striped Tit-babblers in this social group were in the undergrowth foraging and would occasionally make the classical low churning contact-calls.

“This bird that was loudly ‘advertising’ for the group (Wells 2007, Edgar 1947) and would also intermittently make the same churning contact-calls or interrupt the song to catch prey. I lost track of the bird after 20 minutes but the calls continued intermittently and ended only around 8.30 am.

“Regarding the song: They were evenly spaced out and occur in a frequency of between 2-10 notes (I have heard single notes in the past). They commonly occurred in sets of 7-8 notes (Wells 2007 says 3-4 notes). They were repeated after a pause of 1-2 seconds. 10 notes can be made in the space of 3.2 seconds. I counted 12 consecutive sets to get an average – it averages at 3.12 notes per second. As Wells documents, the first note is slightly lower pitched than the others.

“The edited song recording is given and sonogram/waveform are given above. Due to posting size constrains I have only given shorter sets of notes. Note that the sonogram shows that that each note made actually ‘drags’ and is not as sharp as our hearing suggests.

“A longer call recording and sonogram to illustrate my observations are given above. Note that the longer sonogram does not allow a clear view of the individual notes.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
16th June 2018

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Trail along primary jungle

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