This is what a typical alpaca “alert call” sounds like. The alerting alpaca is telling the rest of the herd that it sees something it is not sure of. It could be anything from a coyote in the field to a plastic bag rolling through the pasture on a windy day. Either way, the alert call gets the attention of every alpaca within hearing range and puts them all on guard in case they need to run.
If other alpacas see the problem too, they may alert as well. The more alpacas that join in and alert, the more serious the rest of the alpacas take the threat. They will keep alerting as long as they feel threatened by what they are seeing.
The alpacas that don’t see the problem don’t sound off, but they will stay on guard and try to see what the others are looking at.
Some alpacas may see see the problem, but have learned that it is not really a threat, so they don’t sound off. In this way, they teach the alerter not to worry about that particular problem. However, some alpacas are hyper-sensitive and will always alert to it.
The alpacas recognize each other’s alerts too. Charlie alerts to anything out-of-place (we think he likes to hear himself), so the others look around, but don’t get too bothered by him unless another alpaca sounds off also.
When I hear my alpacas alert, especially at night, I pay attention. If they are persistent, I go check out what it is just in case there’s trouble that I need to take care of.