One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A warning cry made by a bird or other animal when startled.
- ‘They'll give off an alarm call that other birds can hear for miles.’
- ‘To exclude the possibility of a male calling in response to the other males' alarm calls rather than to potential predators, an alarm call was ignored if uttered within 10 s the call of the other male.’
- ‘As soon as the fruit began to ripen, a walk down the garden would be greeted by a Blackbird or Song Thrush alarm call as the birds inside the cage tried to get out.’
- ‘This is usually an alarm call whose pitch is raised when a threat stalks her eggs or chicks.’
- ‘In research terms, the grunts are known as functionally referential signals: signals that animals give to each other in response to an outside event or object, such as an alarm call that warns of a predator.’
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