Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) increase the whistle part of their song in response to simulated territorial intrusion

Leedale, Amy E. and Collins, Sarah A. and de Kort, Selvino R. (2015) Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) increase the whistle part of their song in response to simulated territorial intrusion. Ethology, 121 (4). pp. 403-409. ISSN 0179-1613

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Abstract

Bird song is a sexually selected signal that serves two main functions, attracting a mate and deterring rivals. Different signal parameters may be important in advertising to females compared to advertising to rival males. Species solve the problem of this dual function in a variety of ways, one of which may be to have separate parts of song directed at male and female receivers. The blackcap song has two distinct parts, a complex warble, assumed to be directed at female receivers, followed by a louder and more stereotyped whistle putatively directed at males. We simulated territorial intrusions by broadcasting blackcap song in territories. Comparing songs sung prior, with those produced in response to playback, showed that the proportion of the whistle component of songs increased, but not the warble. This study thus provides empirical evidence that the whistle component of the blackcap song plays a prominent role in male–male competition. The warble component of the blackcap song may be directed at females, but this requires further testing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The definitive version is available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eth.12349
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Amy Leedale
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2021 08:45
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2021 08:45
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3335

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