Meeting Abstract

P1.96  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Aeroelastic flutter and flight sounds across birds CLARK, CJ*; PRUM, RO; Yale Univ. Peabody Museum

Flight generates sound. Birds such as ducks, doves, loons, ravens, vultures and hornbills make tonal sounds during ordinary flight, while others such as flycatchers, snipe, honeyguide, manakins, guans and cotingas make tonal sounds during specialized displays. Recent work on hummingbird feathers has demonstrated that aeroelastic flutter of flight feathers can produce a wide variety of sounds. We tested the ability of flight feathers from a phylogenetically diverse array of birds to produce sound in a wind tunnel. Our results show that the capacity to aeroelasticaly flutter is intrinsic to all flight feathers, at airspeeds exceeding a critical velocity. In most but not all cases we replicated tonal flight sounds recorded from wild birds, indicating that this is a prevalent mechanism of sound production in birds.