Date of Award
Sciurus niger (fox squirrel) produces a characteristic bark call that has long been assumed to serve as an alarm call. However, to date, no definitive research has been conducted to support these assumptions. Over the course of six months, I executed an audio playback study with free-living fox squirrels in central Indiana. When a squirrel came into view, its behavior was video recorded during a 30 second playing of either an S. niger bark call or a cardinal (Cardinalis cardinals) control call. The subjects were also filmed thirty seconds prior to and immediately following the call. Each squirrel's behavior was scored to quantify its level of alertness and the results indicated that S. niger does in fact respond to the bark as an alarm signal.
Keller, Michael Ryan, "Fox Squirrel Response to Bark Calls" (2014). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 200.