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ORIGINAL PAPER Soft song in song sparrows: response of males and females

Soft song in song sparrows: response of males and females
to an enigmatic signal
Rindy C. Anderson & Stephen Nowicki &
William A. Searcy
Received: 9 March 2006 /Revised: 22 December 2006 /Accepted: 13 January 2007
# Springer-Verlag 2007
Abstract Low-amplitude "soft song" is used by a variety
of songbirds; in some species during aggressive encounters,
in others during courtship, and yet others in both these
contexts. In song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), soft song
has thus far been observed only in aggressive encounters,
where its production is a more reliable predictor of attack
than any other signaling behavior. We used song playback
to test the response of both male and female song sparrows
to soft song. The design of the playback experiments took
into account the existence of two classes of soft song:
crystallized soft song, which consists of song types also
found in the broadcast repertoire, and warbled soft song,
which consists of less-structured song types not found in


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


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine