Ambient noise, motor fatigue and serial redundancy in chaffinch song.

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173 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many animal signals are performed in a highly redundant manner as in some bird species where males sing several renditions of one song type before switching to another. However, differences in signal redundancy between contexts and between individuals are only poorly understood. We found that chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) in noisier areas (i.e., close to waterfalls and torrents) sang longer bouts of the same song type before switching to a new type, suggesting that they use increased serial redundancy to get the message across in noisy conditions. This is the first evidence of a noise-dependent adjustment of signal redundancy in a songbird. In addition, we found that song types with faster trills were sung in shorter bouts suggesting that the performance of highly redundant song series is probably limited by motor constraints. Thus, in noisy environments, serial redundancy in bird song may reflect a trade-off between successful signal transmission and preventing motor fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

Keywords

  • aimal communication
  • bird song
  • Fringilla coelebs
  • signal redundancy
  • signal transmission
  • FRINGILLA-COELEBS
  • APTENODYTES-PATAGONICUS
  • ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION
  • VOCALIZATIONS
  • PERFORMANCE
  • AMPLITUDE
  • DISPLAY
  • SIGNAL
  • BIRDS
  • CALL

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