Function of male courtship vocalizations in red-winged blackbirds

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Abstract

During courtship, male red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) produce long sequences of simple, single-note precopulatory calls, punctuated with occasional songs. Male song has previously been shown to stimulate copulation solicitation in captive, estradiol-implanted females of this species (Searcy and Brenowitz 1988; Searcy, in press). Here I show that sequences of precopulatory calls also stimulate copulation solicitation in female redwings, but that they are not as stimulatory as song. In tests contrasting mixed bouts of song and precopulatory calls with bouts of song alone, the mixed bouts elicited significantly more female solicitation in one instance, more but not significantly more in a second, and an exactly equal amount as song alone in a third. Neither song nor precopulatory calls could be shown to affect proximity of females to the speaker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1989

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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