A test for repertoire matching in eastern song sparrows


Journal Article

© 2016 Nordic Society Oikos. 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

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dubois, AL; Nowicki, S; Searcy, WA

Published Date

  • March 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 146 - 152

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1600-048X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0908-8857

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jav.00811

Citation Source

  • Scopus