Hornbills know which monkey calls to heed

7:15pm, March 16, 2004

The yellow-casqued hornbill, an African forest bird, can tell the difference between the alarm call that monkeys make in response to an approaching leopard, which is not a threat to the birds, and the monkey alarm triggered by a crowned eagle, which is a threat to the hornbill, researchers have found.

This makes the hornbill the first bird known to distinguish between alarm calls given by another species, says Hugo J. Rainey of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

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