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Vocal behaviour and neighbour spatial arrangement during vocal displays in eagle owls (Bubo bubo)


Maria del Mar Delgado, Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Avda. de María Luisa s/n, Pabellón del Perú, Apdo 1056, 41013 Seville, Spain.


We quantified temporal and spatial patterns of adult eagle owl Bubo bubo vocal behaviour throughout an entire year. The duration of adult eagle owl vocal displays showed significant differences during different periods of the year: there was one major peak in the pre-laying period, when duets of mates were also more frequent. The daily distribution of adult vocalizations showed a similar pattern among the different periods, with vocal activity being most intense at sunset and sunrise. Analyses of the characteristics of call posts showed that the choice of such focal points was guided by the trade-off between the need to defend the territory and within-pair communication inside the core areas, as well as efficient communication with neighbours.