Vocal dialects and vocal convergence

Sulphur-crested cockatoos are extremely loud! But they also use a larger variety of soft calls in close interactions. We are aiming to describe the vocal repertoire of the species and to investigate wheter they, like many other parrot species, have vocal dialects.

Some research questions are just easier to investigate in captivity, for example how group size and composition influences vocal convergence. We are studying this in cockatiels. Cockatiels have a very large repertoire and call types are not easily classified. We have therefore started a collaboration with computer scientists from the University of Erlangen, Germany, to employ deep learning to our datasets. Watch this space for exciting results to come soon!