Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 399–405 | Cite as

Optimal daily routines of singing and foraging in a bird singing to attract a mate

  • J. M. McNamara
  • R. H. Mace
  • A. I. Houston


In this paper we develop a dynamic programming model to explore the optimal organization of daily routines of singing and foraging in a small bird. While singing the bird may attract a mate but uses up energy. Most of the patterns of daily variation in singing generated have basic features very characteristic of typical passerine song output. The predictions are remarkably robust to changes in a wide range of parameters, showing which parameters are important. A peak of singing at dawn can result from variability in overnight energy expenditure in the absence of any circadian patterns in the environment.


Energy Expenditure Dynamic Programming Basic Feature Programming Model Daily Variation 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. McNamara
    • 1
  • R. H. Mace
    • 2
  • A. I. Houston
    • 2
  1. 1.School of MathematicsUniversity of BristolBristolEngland
  2. 2.Edward Grey Institute, Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordEngland

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