Grey squirrels adjust levels of vigilance behaviour according to bird chatter

A new study by Marie Lilly and co-workers from Oberlin College in Ohio USA (see Publications page) have demonstrated how grey squirrels eavesdrop on bird chatter and adjust their levels of vigilance behaviour in line with that of the birds. For example, when birds emit calls while not under the threat of predation, squirrels exhibit low levels if vigilance behaviours. This shows not unsurprisingly, therefore, that squirrels eavesdrop on non-alarm calls as well as alarm calls (The Guardian, Sky News, Mirror, Independent, Phys Org).

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