Ornithological Note 110

Notes on the vocalizations of Barred Fruiteater (Pipreola arcuata)

Peter F. D. Boesman April 21, 2016
Section(s): Voice, Systematics

In the following we briefly analyze and compare voice of both races of Barred Fruiteater (Pipreola arcuata). We also try to quantify the extent of any vocal differences using the criteria proposed by Tobias et al. (2010), as a support for taxonomic review. We have made use of sound recordings available on-line from Xeno Canto (XC).

Barred Fuiteater has two 'song-type vocalisations': a commonly heard fairly short overslurred high-pitched whistle, and a less common remarkably long whistle steadily increasing in pitch (the latter only documented for birds from S Ecuador to further south, I assume thus for both races).

long whistle

                                arcuata (n=3)                       viridicauda (n=5)

start freq.              5500-6200Hz                       5500-6000Hz

end freq.               8900-10100Hz                     9000-9500Hz

length                    5-5.5s                                     4-4.5s

There seems to be a small difference in length of the whistle (although a larger sample size would be needed to prove this is not a pure coincidence).


Short whistle

                                arcuata (n=5)                       viridicauda (n=5)

min. freq.              6000-8000Hz                       6000-7000Hz

max. freq.             7500-10000Hz                     8000-8500Hz

length                    1.8-2.2s                                 2.0-2.5s

freq. range           1200-2000Hz                       1900-2000Hz

There is considerable overlap in all basic parameters. Note shape is also quite variable for both races, without clear pattern. Apparently no diagnostic differences.


This note was finalized on 10th June 2015, using sound recordings available on-line at that moment. We would like to thank in particular the sound recordists who placed their recordings for this species on XC: Nick Athanas, Peter Boesman, Meena Haribal, Bennett Hennessey, Sebastian Herzog, Olaf Jahn, Niels Krabbe, Frank Lambert, Dan Lane, Mitch Leisinger, Sjoerd Mayer, John V Moore, Bob Planqué, Andrew Spencer, Joseph Tobias and Herman Van Oosten.



Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Pilgrim, J.D., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Collar, N.J. (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152(4): 724–746.

More Information: on110_barred_fruiteater.pdf 

Recommended Citation

Boesman, P. (2016). Notes on the vocalizations of Barred Fruiteater (Pipreola arcuata). HBW Alive Ornithological Note 110. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow-on.100110