Some antelope such as Impala are very vocal, particularly in the breeding season. Kudu and Nyala both have very loud alarm barks. But what about the much smaller Common Duiker?
We have a resident pair living around our home in Raptor’s View Wildlife Estate in Hoedspruit, South Africa and never seem to hear anything from either of them. This led to an extensive search through the literature and the only information we could find was in The Mammals of the southern African subregion by Skinner and Chimimba where they say, “Usually a quiet species, the alarm call is a nasal snort that is not often heard”.
We regularly see the male in the front of the house in the early morning while we are enjoying a cup of coffee and if we sit still, he may approach us quite closely. If we make a sudden movement that disturbs the duiker, we often see a jerking movement of the chest and abdominal areas but hear no apparent sound. This prompted us to set up the recording equipment and wait for the next visit.
Once again he reacted to our movement but this time the microphones picked up this short, sharp sound that to our ears is not a true snort but presume it must be. The duiker would stand still for several minutes while giving the call (Ring-necked Doves call in the background).