The organization and variability of song in Northern House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon parkmanii)

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Kaluthota, Chinthaka D.
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Psychology, c2013
Hypothesized functions of complex song in birds include a role in mate attraction and territory defense and, through regional dialects, in genetic substructuring of populations and speciation. The necessary first step in testing such functions is a detailed characterization of song organization and variability. This is provided for the Northern House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), a species noted for complex song, but lacking detailed descriptions. The species was studied at two sites in Alberta with a sample of 15,000 songs from 15 males. Males sang in long bouts, each song composed of multiple syllable types and repeated many times before switching. The population repertoire of 27 syllables was almost entirely shared, but used to construct novel repertoires of up to 200 different song types for individual males without evidence of a ceiling. Additional flexibility and constraints in song construction are discussed in view of the above noted functions of song complexity.
x, 111 leaves : ill., maps ; 29 cm
House wren -- Vocalization -- Research -- Alberta , Birdsongs -- Research -- Alberta , Learning in animals , Animal communication , Dissertations, Academic