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Are White-browed Babblers territorial?


White-browed Babblers Pomatostomus superciliosus had overlapping 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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