Features of Male- and Female-Produced Song in Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile Atricapillus) Change Between Seasons
AbstractBlack-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) are small, non-migratory songbirds that are commonly seen across much of North America. One of their primary vocalizations, the fee-bee song, has been well-documented in males and functions in both mate attraction and territory defense (Smith, 1991). Both of these functions are critical to fitness particularly in the spring during the breeding season, but less so during other times of the year. Use of this song by females has only recently been described and its function is not well understood (Hahn et al., 2013). In this experiment, we measured acoustic features related to frequency and duration of both male- and female-produced fee-bee songs that had been recorded at two times of the year (e.g., spring and fall). We found that male songs showed less variation overall in their acoustic measures than female songs across both seasons. We also found that songs produced in the spring had less overall variation than those produced in the fall, regardless of sex of the producer. This suggests that fee-bee songs are more critical in the spring than fall, and also suggests that male song consistency may be more important than female song consistency. More research into the use and function of female song may elucidate these sex differences.
Copyright on articles is held by the author(s). The corresponding author has the right to grant on behalf of all authors and does grant on behalf of all authors, a worldwide exclusive licence (or non-exclusive license for government employees) to the Publishers and its licensees in perpetuity, in all forms, formats and media (whether known now or created in the future)
i) to publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the Contribution;
ii) to translate the Contribution into other languages, create adaptations, reprints, include within collections and create summaries, extracts and/or, abstracts of the Contribution;
iii) to exploit all subsidiary rights in the Contribution,
iv) to provide the inclusion of electronic links from the Contribution to third party material where-ever it may be located;
v) to licence any third party to do any or all of the above.