Auditory recognition of covey mates from separation calls in northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): J. A. Baker; E. D. Bailey
Publication Year: 1987

Cataloging Information

  • biogeography
  • birds
  • Colinus virginianus
  • distribution
  • game birds
  • reproduction
  • species diversity (animals)
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 33813
Tall Timbers Record Number: 7990
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Two experiments were conducted to determine whether Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) discriminate covey mates from noncovey mates on the basis of recognition of the individual giving the separation call. Two possible modes of recognition, phenotype matching and call association, were tested. Artificially and naturally hatched quail chicks from two familial lines of linebred quail and quail of crossed lines were reared and tutored by either a related or an unrelated adult. Chicks were separated one at a time and visually isolated midway between their own adult tutor-parent and a strange adult or between their own covey and a strange covey in a two-choice recall paradigm for testing. In both linebred and crossed lines quail, chicks preferentially approached calls of the foster parent or covey mates with whom they were reared with no apparent predilection due to relatedness, with no regard for which birds answered the lost or separation call first, and with no dependency on similarity of call characteristics. All evidence indicated that association learning was the main factor in recognition with no evidence of kin recognition attributable to phenotype matching.

Baker, J. A., and E. D. Bailey. 1987. Auditory recognition of covey mates from separation calls in northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). Canadian Journal of Zoology, v. 65, p. 1724-1728.