Dollarbird – Family group calls

on 19th March 2019
Sonogram/waveform of a juvenile Dollarbird food-begging call.

“I heard and recorded a number of Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis orientalis) calls and observed their relationship to family interactions. One call that has not been mentioned in most sources is the Juvenile Food-Begging-Call. Above shows a sonogram/waveform and an audio recording is present: HERE This is a fast call, given at 10 calls per second and lasts from a few seconds (4-5 seconds) to up to 15 seconds. The individual call lasts 0.1 seconds and the space between calls is also 0.1 seconds. The sonogram shows that this is a discrete, repetitive, sharp, multi-tiered call of 10-11 kHz frequency. The recording initially has one juvenile calling followed by the second joining in, intermittently. (In the recording you can hear an Asian Koel and Coppersmith Barbet faintly in the background).

Juvenile Dollarbird posture when making food-begging call.

“The image above shows the juvenile’s posture when making the begging calls.

“As the family was separated by workmen appearing I also had the opportunity to hear a Parent-Calling-Juveniles-Call. Below shows a sonogram/waveform and an audio recording is present: HERE. The parent had obtained a prey and was on a perch looking for the two juveniles to feed them. It gave this call intermittently with no apparent order or rhythm. These discrete 8-9 kHz frequency calls last 0.1-0.15 seconds and are homogeneous on sonogram. This went on for about 1 minute and then the bird flew off to look for the juveniles. (In the recording you can hear bee-eaters and bulbuls in the background).

Sonogram/waveform of an adult Dollarbird’s call when bringing food to the juvenile.

“A call I heard only once was an Alarm-Call. This was given once when the workmen arrived. The image below shows a sonogram/waveform and an audio recording is present: HERE This was a two note, scratchy call lasting 0.7 seconds and of a much higher frequency. The juveniles reacted to the call by flying off immediately, followed by the parent.

Sonogram/waveform of an adult’s alarm-call.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
9th March 2019

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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