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Abstract

The duet call, the principal vocalization of Cory's shearwaters, was structurally variable with different classes of call being apparent, corresponding to different individuals, sexes and populations. In playback tests, birds responded more frequently to the call of their mate than to other birds, birds of a given sex responded more frequently to playback calls of their own sex and birds of a given locality responded more frequently to birds of their own locality. We suggest some biological functions with respect to mating strategy, individual recognition, territorial behaviour, and population isolation.