ARE WHITE-BROWED BABBLERS TERRITORIAL?
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|| Peter G. Cale
White-browed Babblers Pomatostomus superciliosus
had overlapping home ranges during the non-breeding
season. During the breeding season these home ranges were restricted in area and there was little overlap between
groups. There were three types of interaction associated with this spacing behaviour. Foraging interactions involved
the aggregation of two or more groups to forage in a common area, and were more common during the non·
breeding season. Calling displays involved members of two groups calling to each other. This occasionally led to
the third interaction, chases, where one bird from each group chased each other. Calling displays and chases
resulted in the separation of groups and occurred almost exclusively during the breeding season.
The most parsimonious explanation for the behaviour of these White·browed Babbler groups was that they
held territories during the breeding season, but became non-territorial for the rest of the year. The lack of territorial
behaviour during the non-breeding season may be related to limited food supplies during the summer.
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