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ORIGINAL PAPER Operant conditioning and copulation solicitation display

Operant conditioning and copulation solicitation display
assays reveal a stable preference for local song by female
swamp sparrows Melospiza georgiana
Rindy C. Anderson
Received: 9 February 2009 /Revised: 13 July 2009 /Accepted: 3 August 2009 /Published online: 25 August 2009
# Springer-Verlag 2009
Abstract Operant conditioning assays are increasingly
being used to test mating signal preferences in female
birds. Operant behavior may be seen as farther removed
from mate choice behavior as compared to other methods
for measuring mating signal preferences, which could limit
the evolutionary interpretation of operant results. I com-
pared the song preferences of female swamp sparrows
(Melospiza georgiana) as measured both by a copulation
solicitation display assay and by an operant preference test.
Both methods revealed a strong preference for songs from
the females' Conneaut Marsh breeding population over
songs from a Millbrook population over 500 km distant,
which remained stable after extensive exposure to


Source: Anderson, Rindy C. - Department of Biology, Duke University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine