09 Aug '17, 4pm

Good Grammar Is a Matter of Life or Death for Japanese Tits

Good Grammar Is a Matter of Life or Death for Japanese Tits

It's a scene that regularly plays out in the woodlands of Japan and eastern Russia, where the birds call home, and the rapid mobilization is the result of their impeccable communication skills. When danger like the marten is spotted, a flock member voices a "mobbing call"—a combination of chirps called an “alert-recruitment” sequence—to rally the troops, explains Toshitaka Suzuki, a postdoctoral expert on animal communication at Kyoto University’s Center for Ecological Research. While observing these sociable birds in the wild, Suzuki noticed that they always respond to this sequence of calls, along with the two-part calls of their close cousin, the Willow Tit. So, he ventured that Japanese Tits may rely on a rudimentary form of grammar to relay messages and provoke actions.

Full article: http://www.audubon.org/news/good-grammar-matter-life-or-d...

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