A test for repertoire matching in eastern song sparrows

Adrienne L. Dubois, Stephen Nowicki, William Searcy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Repertoire matching occurs when one songbird replies to another with a song type that the two birds share. Repertoire matching has previously been demonstrated to occur at well above chance levels in a western population of song sparrows, where it is hypothesized to serve as a low level threat in a hierarchy of aggressive signals. Here we test for repertoire matching in an eastern population of song sparrows. Previous work indicates that this eastern population differs from the western one in having lower levels of song sharing between neighboring males and in showing no association between song sharing and territory tenure. Here we confirm that males in this eastern population on average share few whole songs with their neighbors. The eastern males are familiar with their neighbors' repertoires, as evidenced by a stronger singing response to stranger song than to neighbor song. Males in the eastern population did not repertoire match: when played an unshared song type from a specific neighbor, they did not reply with a song type shared with that neighbor more often than expected by chance or more often than in response to playback of a control song (an unshared stranger song). The results thus demonstrate a qualitative difference in vocal signaling strategies between two populations of the same species. Journal of Avian Biology

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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