On the “long call†of the Indian Great Horned or Eagle-Owl Bubo bengalensis (Franklin)

Mario Eric Ramanujam


The "Long call" is a call of intra-specific value (i.e., targeted towards invididuals of the same species), and is the characteristic distinguishing call of Bubo bengalensis.  The rather melodious two-syllabled male call was clearly distinguishable from the shorter, harsher famale call.  Increased frequency of calling was recorded at dusk by all males and by both sexes during courtship.  Males reacted strongly to the calls played in the field and also to human impersonaation and this helped in the identification of territories.  Very few calls or none at all were recorded from the time incubation began.  This call has multiple functions, the motivation depending upon stimulus and endocrinal state in the birds concerned. A cross purpose was evident when it acted both as a distance increasing display (outside the breeding season) and a distance decreasing display (during courtship)

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