Repertoire matching between neighbouring song sparrows

  title={Repertoire matching between neighbouring song sparrows},
  author={Michael D. Beecher and Philip K. Stoddard and Elizabeth Campbell and Cynthia L. Horning},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
A male song sparrow,Melospiza melodia, has a song repertoire of about eight or nine distinct song types, and he typically shares several of these song types with each of his several neighbours. In the prevailing theoretical view, the song types in a bird's repertoire are interchangeable and multiple song types exist primarily to provide diversity. The present study was designed to test a contrary hypothesis concerning one particular context, counter-singing between neighbours. Specifically, the… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

The role of unshared songs in singing interactions between neighbouring song sparrows
Territory tenure in song sparrows is related to song sharing with neighbours, but not to repertoire size
It is found that the number of songs a bird shares with his neighbourhood group is a better predictor of lifetime territory tenure than is his repertoire size, and song sharing increases with repertoire size up to but not beyond eight to nine song types, which are the most common repertoire sizes in the population.
Song-type matching between neighbouring song sparrows
The hypothesis that type matching is a threat or warning signal is considered and the specific prediction that a bird is more likely to type-match early in the breeding season when territory boundaries are new and still unstable, and more likelihood to repertoire-match later in the season, once those boundaries have become well established is tested.
A test for repertoire matching in eastern song sparrows
It is confirmed that males in this eastern population on average share few whole songs with their neighbors, as evidenced by a stronger singing response to stranger song than to neighbor song.
Song-type sharing and matching in a bird with very large song repertoires, the tropical mockingbird
In tropical mockingbirds, rapidly matching the songs of neighbours could provide information to listeners about a singer’s experience or abilities, which is the presumed function of this behaviour in species with smaller repertoires.
Song sharing in two populations of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)
It is concluded that at the within-subspecies level, neither migration nor population density affect song sharing in song sparrows, a song repertoire species.
Alternative forms of song matching in song sparrows
It is suggested that birds who do not share true song types, can still song-match each other, and this broad-sense form of song matching may also occur in populations with low song type sharing.


Song-type matching in the song sparrow
The importance of the neighbour–stranger contrast, in addition to song similarity, in eliciting song matching confirms similar conclusions from earlier studies on the great tit and western meadowlark.
Dynamics of Territorial Singing Between Neighboring Song Sparrows (Melospiza Melodia)
Countersinging song sparrows interact by coordinating the turnover of their song bouts, but long-term leader/follower roles generally do not occur in song switching, and it is suggested these benefits may be the transmission of directional and motivational information.
Correlation of song learning and territory establishment strategies in the song sparrow.
It is argued that the young bird's song repertoire represents the "logical intersection" of the song repertoires of his tutor neighbors and is optimally designed for mimicry and for communication between neighbors.
The period for song learning to sing can extend throughout adult life in this species and is comparable in timing to the timing of song learning for discrimination tasks such as neighbour recognition and laboratory operant conditioning.
Song matching in western meadowlarks
Song playback to western meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) at Delta, Manitoba, showed that the tendency of males to respond with the same song type (match) depended on the source of the recording, indicating that matching and nonmatching are qualitatively different responses.
Song matching in the great tit (Parus major): The effect of similarity and familiarity
Repertoires and Geographical Variation in Bird Song
Extended song learning in wild European starlings
The results indicate that extended song learning occurs in adult starlings, even in birds that are at least 4 years old, and that repertoire size is correlated with age in this species.