Communication and Perception
Falconids use calls to advertise ownership of a territory, to communicate between mates or group members, and in territorial or food disputes. Pairs of breeding forest-falcons sing duets before sunrise, a behavior that presumably functions to advertise their occupation of a territory, and perhaps to strengthen the pair bond. Chicks and females also use vocalizations to beg for food. The vocalizations of falconids are simple, repeated monosyllabic calls, described variously as cackles, chatters, squawks, croaks, wails and whines. Other behaviors used to communicate include flight displays, such as repeated plunging dives near the nest to advertise ownership of a territory or as a part of courtship. Plumage patterns and other physical characteristics, such as the bare skin on the face of the crested caracara (Caracara cheriway) that changes from orange to yellow in excitement, may serve as social signals of good health or prowess, or may advertise occupation of a territory.
Sight is the most important sense used for hunting. Falconids have exceptional eyesight, which they use for catching fast-moving prey. Sound is also used by some forest-dwelling species, many of which have a ruff of stiff feathers around the face that help to capture sound.
Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic
Other Communication Modes: duets
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