Marty and Andy are principally
interested in how parent birds and their young
communicate. For example, nestling birds, like
lots of animals, produce vigorous begging displays
that include stretching, wing flapping, and loud
calls that can reach 70 - 80 decibels. The
intensity of these signals is puzzling because
parents and young are usually close to one
another, so a loud, vigorous signal seems
unnecessary. Perhaps more importantly, these
signals may also take some energy to produce and
seem to make nests more obvious to predators.
Thus, we have been trying to understand why these
conspicuous begging signals might have evolved.