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ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2002, 64, 939944 doi:10.1006/anbe.2002.1974, available online at http://www.ScienceDirect.com

Summary: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2002, 64, 939≠944
doi:10.1006/anbe.2002.1974, available online at http://www.ScienceDirect.com
Nocturnal and diurnal singing activity in the nightingale:
correlations with mating status and breeding cycle
*Research station Petite Camargue Alsacienne, University of Basel, Switzerland
Institute of Ecology & Evolution, ETH Zu®rich
Department of Animal Behaviour, University of Bielefeld
(Received 10 January 2002; initial acceptance 12 February 2002;
final acceptance 12 June 2002; MS. number: 7195)
This study on the nightingale, Luscinia megarhynchos, is the first to examine both nocturnal and diurnal
singing activity of mated and unmated males throughout a species' entire breeding cycle. Nocturnal song
was sung mostly by unmated males. After pair formation, males ceased nocturnal singing and resumed it
if their mate deserted. These results strongly suggest that nocturnal song of unmated males functions to
attract a mate. Diurnal singing activity before females settled was low and did not predict future mating
status. However, unmated males showed a continuous increase in diurnal singing activity until the end
of the breeding cycle, but diurnal singing activity of mated males decreased after the egg-laying period.
Mated males resumed nocturnal song for, on average, 3 nights during egg laying by their mates. This
second period of nocturnal song coincided with the peak of diurnal singing activity. Such a high male
singing effort during egg laying might allow the female to adjust her reproductive effort to male quality,


Source: Amrhein, Valentin - Zoologisches Institut, Universitšt Basel


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology