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Effects of territorial intrusions on eavesdropping neighbors: communication

Summary: Effects of territorial intrusions on
eavesdropping neighbors: communication
networks in nightingales
Marc Naguib,a
Valentin Amrhein,b
and Hansjoerg P. Kunca
Department of Animal Behavior, University of Bielefeld, P.O. Box 100 131, 33501
Bielefeld, Germany, and b
University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, and Research Station
Petite Camargue Alsacienne, France
Animal communication often occurs in communication networks in which multiple signalers and receivers are within signaling
range of each other. In such networks, individuals can obtain information on the quality and motivation of territorial neighbors
by eavesdropping on their signaling interactions. In songbirds, extracting information from interactions involving neighbors is
thought to be an important factor in the evolution of strategies of territory defense. In a playback experiment with radio-tagged
nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos we here demonstrate that territorial males use their familiar neighbors' performance in a vocal
interaction with an unfamiliar intruder as a standard for their own response. Males were attracted by a vocal interaction between
their neighbor and a simulated stranger and intruded into the neighbor's territory. The more intensely the neighbor had
interacted with playback, the earlier the intrusions were made, indicating that males eavesdropped on the vocal contest involving
a neighbor. However, males never intruded when we had simulated by a second playback that the intruder had retreated and sang


Source: Amrhein, Valentin - Zoologisches Institut, Universitšt Basel


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology