Courting Bird Sings with Stridulating Wing Feathers

  title={Courting Bird Sings with Stridulating Wing Feathers},
  author={Kimberly S. Bostwick and Richard O. Prum},
  pages={736 - 736}
In birds and other vertebrates, most acoustic signals are produced pneumatically by moving air through a vocal apparatus. Here we describe a unique mechanism used to produce a tonal acoustic signal in vertebrates. Video recordings of the courtship displays of male Club-winged Manakins, Machaeropterus deliciosus, reveal that males produce sustained harmonic tones through interactions among oscillating secondary wing feathers. This mechanism of sound production shows morphological and mechanistic… 
Resonating feathers produce courtship song
Critical support is lent to the resonant stridulation hypothesis of sound production in M. deliciosus, which is hypothesized to result from excitation of resonance in the feathers' hypertrophied shafts.
Smithornis broadbills produce loud wing song by aeroelastic flutter of medial primary wing feathers
Field manipulations of P6, P7 and P8 changed the timbre of the wing song, and reduced its tonality, demonstrating that P6 and P7 are together the sound source, and not P9 or P10, and the resultant wing song appears to have functionally replaced vocal song.
Sounds of Modified Flight Feathers Reliably Signal Danger in a Pigeon
The results indicate, nearly 150 years after Darwin's book, that modified feathers can be used for non-vocal communication, and they reveal an intrinsically reliable alarm signal.
The Anna's hummingbird chirps with its tail: a new mechanism of sonation in birds
High-speed video of diving birds, experimental manipulations on wild birds and laboratory experiments on individual feathers are used to show that the dive sound is made by tail feathers, and a flag model is proposed to explain the feather's fluttering and accompanying sound.
Sonations in Migratory and Non-migratory Fork-tailed Flycatchers (Tyrannus savana).
The Fork-tailed Flycatcher is a Neotropical bird with both migratory and year-round resident subspecies that differ in the shape of the outer primary feathers of their wings, and these shape differences between the subspecies result in sounds produced at different frequencies.
Blood levels of testoster- one (T) in males are generally elevated during this reproductive period, are basal for the remainder of the year, and are low in females year round, which suggest that T activates male manakin courtship.
Hummingbird feather sounds are produced by aeroelastic flutter, not vortex-induced vibration
Investigating the underlying mechanics of flutter and sound production of a series of different feathers in a wind tunnel indicates that flutter is not simply a vortex-induced vibration, and that the accompanying sounds are not vortex whistles.
Wing, tail, and vocal contributions to the complex acoustic signals of courting Calliope hummingbirds
Multi-component signals contain multiple signal parts expressed in the same physical modality. One way to identify individual components is if they are produced by different physical mechanisms.
Determination of the wingsnap sonation mechanism of the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus)
The intense Manacus ‘wingsnap’ involves modified wing bones that, upon collision, are themselves the source of this unusual acoustic signal.
Evolution of Courtship Songs in Xenopus: Vocal Pattern Generation and Sound Production
It is proposed that reduced vocal sex differences in some Xenopus species result from species-specific losses of sexually differentiated neural and neuromuscular features and modification of sex-hormone-regulated developmental mechanisms is a strong candidate mechanism for reduced vocalsex differences.


High-speed video analysis of wing-snapping in two manakin clades (Pipridae: Aves)
For the first time, field-generated high-speed video recordings and acoustic analyses are used to test numerous competing hypotheses of the kinematics underlying sonations, or non-vocal communicative sounds, produced by two genera of Pipridae, Manacus and Pipra (Aves), providing the first detailed kinematic information on mechanisms of sonation in birds in general, and the PipridAE specifically.
Sexual selection and the evolution of mechanical sound production in manakins (Aves: Pipridae)
  • R. Prum
  • Biology, Medicine
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1998
Modulated, non-vocal, mechanical sounds of the lek-breeding Neotropical manakins (Pipridae) are surveyed and described and it is documented that the dynamic patterns of evolution in mechanical sound production in the polygynous manAKins are highly unlikely by chance alone.
Acoustic systems in biology
Introduction Simple vibrators Vibrations of strings and bars Sensory hairs and otoliths Vibration of membranes, plates, and shells Acoustic waves Acoustic sources and radiation Low-frequency network
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
I.IF Mr. Darwin had closed his rich series of contributions to Science by the publication of the “Origin of Species,“he would have made an epoch in Natural History like that which Socrates made in
J. Exp. Biol
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Anim. Behav
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Supported by NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant no
  • Supported by NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant no