By working together, birds of many species alert others of predators long before they arrive.
A frantic cacophony of loud, rapid bird calls tells other birds nearby: There’s a predator on the prowl. Mobbing, it’s called, as birds clamor and dart back and forth at the threat.
An ongoing study of mobbing and other bird warning behavior now suggests that some birds listen in on the warnings of other birds. A wave of warning calls spreads from one hillside to another at more than 100 miles per hour. So vulnerable birds may be clued in to a predator’s movements before it comes near, giving them time to take cover. Even chipmunks and some squirrels seem to pay heed to the birds’ red alert.
See the full story from Audubon here