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See detailContext-related vocalizations in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)
Giret, Nicolas; Albert, Aurélie ULg; Nagle, Laurent et al

in Acta Ethologica (2012), 15

A few animal species are capable of vocal learning. Parrots are well known for their vocal imitation abilities. In this study, we investigated whether African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) emit ... [more ▼]

A few animal species are capable of vocal learning. Parrots are well known for their vocal imitation abilities. In this study, we investigated whether African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) emit specific vocalizations in specific contexts. We first described the vocal repertoire and its ontogenesis of four captive grey parrots. After a comparison with vocalizations emitted by wild and other captive African grey parrots, we observed that only three call categories were shared by all grey parrots populations, suggesting that isolated populations of parrots develop population-specific calls. Then, we artificially provoked ten different contexts and recorded vocalizations of four captive grey parrots in these situations. Parrots predominantly emitted call categories in some contexts: distress, protestation, alarm, asking (i.e. emitted when a bird wanted something from an experimenter and contact calls. These results suggest that some calls are learned and can be used in specific contexts. [less ▲]

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See detailFinding good acoustic features for parrot vocalizations: The feature generation approach
Giret, Nicolas; Roy, Pierre; Albert, Aurélie ULg et al

in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (2011), 129

A crucial step in the understanding of vocal behavior of birds is to be able to classify calls in the repertoire into meaningful types. Methods developed to this aim are limited either because of human ... [more ▼]

A crucial step in the understanding of vocal behavior of birds is to be able to classify calls in the repertoire into meaningful types. Methods developed to this aim are limited either because of human subjectivity or because of methodological issues. The present study investigated whether a feature generation system could categorize vocalizations of a bird species automatically and effectively. This procedure was applied to vocalizations of African gray parrots, known for their capacity to reproduce almost any sound of their environment. Outcomes of the feature generation approach agreed well with a much more labor-intensive process of a human expert classifying based on spectrographic representation, while clearly out-performing other automated methods. The method brings significant improvements in precision over commonly used bioacoustical analyses. As such, the method enlarges the scope of automated, acoustics-based sound classification. [less ▲]

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