Female attraction to male song in house wrens (Troglodytes aedon)

L. Scott Johnson, William Searcy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study tested the hypothesis that the song of male birds can function to attract mates. At 11 different locations on our Wyoming study area, we broadcast the song of male house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) from a loudspeaker mounted next to an empty nest box in an unoccupied wren territory. The number of female wrens attracted to the 'speaker box' was compared to the number visiting a silent, control box on another, unoccupied territory nearby. Females visited speaker boxes at a significantly higher rate than they visited control boxes. Ten females visited speaker boxes in six different trials during periods when no male was associated with either the speaker or control box (total time = 45.5 h; visit rate = 0.22/h). In contrast, only one female visited a control box during these same periods (= 0.02 visits/h), and she did so after first visiting the speaker box. Two females visited the speaker box simultaneously in some trials and chasing or fighting always ensued. Many females showed signs of settling permanently at speaker boxes, remaining at speaker boxes from their arrival to the end of the trial (> 5 h in two cases), and most began constructing nests in boxes, despite the absence of a male. In summary, this study provides strong experimental evidence that the song of male house wrens can function to attract mates for breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalBehaviour
Volume133
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 1 1996

Fingerprint

Troglodytes aedon
Songbirds
Music
animal communication
Troglodytidae
nest boxes
Birds
Breeding
birds
breeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Female attraction to male song in house wrens (Troglodytes aedon). / Johnson, L. Scott; Searcy, William.

In: Behaviour, Vol. 133, No. 5-6, 01.05.1996, p. 357-366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Johnson, L. Scott ; Searcy, William. / Female attraction to male song in house wrens (Troglodytes aedon). In: Behaviour. 1996 ; Vol. 133, No. 5-6. pp. 357-366.
@article{aba8886831f34375abf10c0708746529,
title = "Female attraction to male song in house wrens (Troglodytes aedon)",
abstract = "This study tested the hypothesis that the song of male birds can function to attract mates. At 11 different locations on our Wyoming study area, we broadcast the song of male house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) from a loudspeaker mounted next to an empty nest box in an unoccupied wren territory. The number of female wrens attracted to the 'speaker box' was compared to the number visiting a silent, control box on another, unoccupied territory nearby. Females visited speaker boxes at a significantly higher rate than they visited control boxes. Ten females visited speaker boxes in six different trials during periods when no male was associated with either the speaker or control box (total time = 45.5 h; visit rate = 0.22/h). In contrast, only one female visited a control box during these same periods (= 0.02 visits/h), and she did so after first visiting the speaker box. Two females visited the speaker box simultaneously in some trials and chasing or fighting always ensued. Many females showed signs of settling permanently at speaker boxes, remaining at speaker boxes from their arrival to the end of the trial (> 5 h in two cases), and most began constructing nests in boxes, despite the absence of a male. In summary, this study provides strong experimental evidence that the song of male house wrens can function to attract mates for breeding.",
author = "Johnson, {L. Scott} and William Searcy",
year = "1996",
month = "5",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "133",
pages = "357--366",
journal = "Behaviour",
issn = "0005-7959",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "5-6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Female attraction to male song in house wrens (Troglodytes aedon)

AU - Johnson, L. Scott

AU - Searcy, William

PY - 1996/5/1

Y1 - 1996/5/1

N2 - This study tested the hypothesis that the song of male birds can function to attract mates. At 11 different locations on our Wyoming study area, we broadcast the song of male house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) from a loudspeaker mounted next to an empty nest box in an unoccupied wren territory. The number of female wrens attracted to the 'speaker box' was compared to the number visiting a silent, control box on another, unoccupied territory nearby. Females visited speaker boxes at a significantly higher rate than they visited control boxes. Ten females visited speaker boxes in six different trials during periods when no male was associated with either the speaker or control box (total time = 45.5 h; visit rate = 0.22/h). In contrast, only one female visited a control box during these same periods (= 0.02 visits/h), and she did so after first visiting the speaker box. Two females visited the speaker box simultaneously in some trials and chasing or fighting always ensued. Many females showed signs of settling permanently at speaker boxes, remaining at speaker boxes from their arrival to the end of the trial (> 5 h in two cases), and most began constructing nests in boxes, despite the absence of a male. In summary, this study provides strong experimental evidence that the song of male house wrens can function to attract mates for breeding.

AB - This study tested the hypothesis that the song of male birds can function to attract mates. At 11 different locations on our Wyoming study area, we broadcast the song of male house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) from a loudspeaker mounted next to an empty nest box in an unoccupied wren territory. The number of female wrens attracted to the 'speaker box' was compared to the number visiting a silent, control box on another, unoccupied territory nearby. Females visited speaker boxes at a significantly higher rate than they visited control boxes. Ten females visited speaker boxes in six different trials during periods when no male was associated with either the speaker or control box (total time = 45.5 h; visit rate = 0.22/h). In contrast, only one female visited a control box during these same periods (= 0.02 visits/h), and she did so after first visiting the speaker box. Two females visited the speaker box simultaneously in some trials and chasing or fighting always ensued. Many females showed signs of settling permanently at speaker boxes, remaining at speaker boxes from their arrival to the end of the trial (> 5 h in two cases), and most began constructing nests in boxes, despite the absence of a male. In summary, this study provides strong experimental evidence that the song of male house wrens can function to attract mates for breeding.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030423894&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030423894&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0030423894

VL - 133

SP - 357

EP - 366

JO - Behaviour

JF - Behaviour

SN - 0005-7959

IS - 5-6

ER -