Miyazaki, M., Waas, J. R. (2005). Effects of male call pitch on female behaviour and mate fidelity in little penguins. Journal of Ethology, 23(3), 167-171.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8173
Playback experiments with two loudspeakers were conducted to examine how female little penguins (Eudyptula minor) respond to bray calls of males that varied in (1) dominant frequency (low vs high) and (2) familiarity (current partner vs stranger). In the first experiment, there was no statistically significant difference in the number of approaching females between low- and high-pitch calls. In the second experiment, using calls from the current partner and a stranger, females were more likely to approach closer to their own partners’ calls, regardless of the pitch of the stranger’s call. We conclude that female little penguins may recognize their partners’ calls (or at least familiar male calls) and appear to maintain mate fidelity even when larger, potentially more successful, strangers are on offer.