Advertisement

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 317–320 | Cite as

Flock-specific recognition of chickadee calls

  • Stephen Nowicki
Article

Summary

Playback tests were conducted to determine whether black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus) flocks recognize the difference between their own calls and those of another flock. The ‘chick-a-dee’ call of the species includes flock-specific acoustic differences that arise, in part, from vocal convergence among flock-members. The call is used in behavioral contexts such as flock territory defense and predator ‘mobbing’, suggesting its importance in coordinating flock behavior. The results show significant differences between responses to foreign and resident calls. Test flocks responded to foreign calls by increasing their own calling rate and decreasing their foraging rate at a feeder set up above the playback speaker. Test flocks' responses to their own calls did not differ significantly from baseline levels of behavior. The significance of flock recognition based on an acoustic signal is discussed.

Keywords

Baseline Level Acoustic Signal Calling Rate Territory Defense Behavioral Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baker MC, Spitler-Nabors KJ, Bradley DC (1982) The response of female white-crowned sparrows to songs from their natal dialect and an alien dialect. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 10:175–180Google Scholar
  2. Beer CG (1970) Individual recognition of the voice in the social behavior of birds. In: Lehrman DS, Hinde RA, Shaw E (eds) Advances in the study of behavior. Academic Press, New York, pp 27–74Google Scholar
  3. Brenowitz E (1981) The effect of stimulus presentation on the response of red-winged blackbirds to playback studies. Auk 98:355–360Google Scholar
  4. Brooks RJ, Falls JB (1975) Individual recognition by song in white-throated sparrows. I. Discrimination of songs of neighbors and strangers. Can J Zool 53:879–888Google Scholar
  5. Feekes F (1982) Song mimesis within colonies of Cacicus c. cela (Icteridae, Aves). A colonial password? Z Tierpsychol 58:119–152Google Scholar
  6. Ficken MS, Ficken RW, Witkin SR (1978) Vocal repetoire of the black-capped chickadee. Auk 95:34–48Google Scholar
  7. Ficken MS, Witkin SR, Weise CM (1981) Associations among members of a black-capped chickadee flock. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 8:245–249Google Scholar
  8. Glase JC (1973) Ecology of social organization in the black-capped chickadee. Living Bird 12:235–267Google Scholar
  9. Mammen DL, Nowicki S (1981) Individual differences and within-flock convergence in chickadee calls. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 9:179–186Google Scholar
  10. Milligan MM, Verner J (1971) Inter-populational song dialect discrimination in the white-crowned sparrow. Condor 73:208–213Google Scholar
  11. Mundinger PC (1970) Vocal imitation and individual recognition of finch calls. Science 168:480–482Google Scholar
  12. Odum EP (1942) Annual cycle of the black-capped chickadee, 3. Auk 59:499–531Google Scholar
  13. Searcy WA, McArthur PD, Peters SS, Marler P (1981) Response of male song and swamp sparrows to neighbor, stranger, and self songs. Behaviour 77:152–163Google Scholar
  14. Snedecor GW, Cochran WG (1967) Statistical methods. Iowa State University, Ames (Iowa)Google Scholar
  15. Thielcke G (1969) Geographic variation in bird vocalizations. In: Hinde RA (ed) Bird vocalizations. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 311–339Google Scholar
  16. Thorpe WH (1972) Duetting and antiphonal song in birds: Its extent and significance. Behaviour (Suppl) 18:1–197Google Scholar
  17. Verner J, Milligan MM (1971) Responses of male white-crowned sparrows to playback of recorded songs. Condor 73:56–64Google Scholar
  18. Weise CM, Meyer JR (1979) Juvenile dispersal and development of site-fidelity in the black-capped chickadee. Auk 96:40–55Google Scholar
  19. Yasukawa K, Bick EI, Wagman DW, Marler P (1982) Playback and speaker-replacement experiments on song-based neighbor, stranger and self discrimination in male red-winged blackbirds. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 10:211–216Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Nowicki
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Neurobiology and BehaviorCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations