Vocal mimicry in songbirds

  title={Vocal mimicry in songbirds},
  author={Laura A. Kelley and Rebecca L. Coe and Joah Robert Madden and Susan D. Healy},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
Mockingbirds imitate frogs and toads across North America
Evolutionary origins of vocal mimicry in songbirds
The evolutionary history of vocal mimicry across the avian phylogeny is traced using ancestral trait reconstruction on a dataset of oscine passerines, finding that the common ancestor to oscines was unlikely to mimic sounds, suggesting that song learning evolved with mechanisms to constrain learning to conspecific models.
The mimetic repertoire of the spotted bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus maculatus
It is suggested that enhanced learning capability during acute stress may explain vocal mimicry in many species that mimic sounds associated with alarm, and that it may be the alarming context in which these sounds are first heard that may lead both to their acquisition and to their later reproduction.
Avian vocal mimicry: a unified conceptual framework
A more central role is revealed for vocal mimicry in the behavioural ecology of birds than has previously been appreciated and a modified version of Vane‐Wright's (1980) widely used definition of mimicry is proposed.
Jack of All Calls and Master of Few: Vocal Mimicry in the Tawny Lark (Galerida Deva)
A detailed account of the variety of mimetic sounds produced by the Tawny Lark is provided and acoustic and peer-based analyses that gauge the accuracy of the mimicry are described.
Vocal mimicry in the song of Icterine warblers (Hippolais icterina): possible functions and sources of variability
The results suggest that Icterine warbler males largely reflect the surrounding acoustic environment in their song, but simultaneously selectively include vocalisations that are similar to their own song as a result of physiological constraints.
How is model selection determined in a vocal mimic?: Tests of five hypotheses
This observational study of free-living northern mockingbirds suggests a potential non-adaptive explanation for the evolution of vocal mimicry because species that learn vocalisations are already predisposed toward learning sounds with key acoustic characteristics.
Vocal mimicry in male bowerbirds: who learns from whom?
It is suggested that the bowerbirds are learning their mimetic repertoire from heterospecifics and not from each other, as opposed to the other way around.
Bilingual vocalization in a Neotropical warbler
The “bilingual” bird, observed in the Serra dos Cocais region of Sao Paulo state, Brazil, appeared visually to be a White-browed Warbler but was documented emitting songs and calls of that species and of Flavescent Warbler.


The functional significance of vocal mimicry in song
It is tentatively concluded that there is no additional functional explanation of starling vocal mimicry.
Motor mechanisms of a vocal mimic: implications for birdsong production
It is shown that when a vocal mimic, the northern mockingbird, accurately copies the song of another species it also uses the vocal motor pattern employed by the model species, suggesting that species–specific acoustic features of the model seem most difficult to copy.
Functional aspects of song learning in songbirds.
Imitating the neighbours: vocal dialect matching in a mimic–model system
It is shown that each population of lyrebirds faithfully reproduces the song of the local population of bowerbirds, providing the first quantitative evidence for dialect matching in the songs of two species that have no direct ecological relationship.
Vocal mimicry in African Cossypha robin chats
The results were consistent with Hartshorne's prediction that song versatility increases with song duration, and it appears that bird species with simple calls have a greater probability of being mimicked.
The significance of song repertoires: The Beau Geste hypothesis
Context-dependent vocal mimicry in a passerine bird
How do birds select the sounds they mimic, and in what contexts do they use vocal mimicry? Some birds show a preference for mimicking other species' alarm notes, especially in situations when they
Vocal Mimicry and Interspecific Aggression in Songbirds: Experiments Using White-Crowned Sparrow Imitation of Song Sparrow Song
In two out of three measures of response, the males did not discriminate between model and mimic song, and most males showed no response to control white-crowned sparrow song, although two individuals showed a strong interspecific response.
Song development by grey catbirds
A geographical survey of catbird song revealed little to no evidence of song sharing or microgeographical variation, which is consistent with the idea that imitation plays a relatively minor role in song development.