The Response of Swamp Sparrows to Acoustically Distinct Song Types

William A. Searcy, Margaret H. Searcy, Peter Marler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Neither male nor female Melospiza georgiana showed differential reaction to 4 acoustically distinct conspecific song types. Although the identity of the particular song type presented was unimportant, the number of types presented was important, at least to females. Females responded more strongly overall to bouts of 4 song types than to bouts of single song types, because females habituated to the repeated presentation of a single song type, and showed a recovery in response when song types were switched. The ability to sing multiple song types thus may aid males in stimulating females to come into reproductive condition and then copulate. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-83
Number of pages14
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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