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1 October 2002 Complex Vocalizations and Aerial Displays of the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus)
Juan Francisco Ornelas, Clementina González, Jorge Uribe
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Long considered to utter only simple calls, hummingbirds are now known to produce songs distinct from calls. Some species have complex songs, but their acoustic characteristics, structure and organization, function, and the evolution of vocal repertoires are not completely known. Here, we describe the aerial display and most common vocalizations of Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus) under different behavioral contexts, during its breeding season in western Mexico. We identified four types of vocalizations: (1) a territorial call, produced mainly by males often in response to another neighbor's chattering, when leaving his territory, and during chases; (2) feeding call, given mostly while foraging; (3) display call, a series of descendent frequency whistle notes, given while performing aerial displays; and (4) song, composed of an introductory phrase and a mixture of notes arranged into four to nine complex phrases, covering a wide frequency range. Our observations of horizontal aerial displays are the first for Amethyst-throated Hummingbirds. Comparisons with L. amethystinus congeners indicated similarities in song complexity. Our results supported the hypothesis that the evolution of diverse acoustic signals may be favored, independently of habitat characteristics, by the complex foraging interactions that hummingbirds experience every day as they need to communicate intra- and interspecifically.

Juan Francisco Ornelas, Clementina González, and Jorge Uribe "Complex Vocalizations and Aerial Displays of the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus)," The Auk 119(4), 1141-1149, (1 October 2002).[1141:CVAADO]2.0.CO;2
Received: 28 June 2001; Accepted: 8 June 2002; Published: 1 October 2002
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