Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 195–201

Experiments on the origin of dialects in the short-toed tree creeper (Certhia brachydactyla)

  • Gerhard Thielcke
  • Klaus Wüstenberg

DOI: 10.1007/BF00310981

Cite this article as:
Thielcke, G. & Wüstenberg, K. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1985) 16: 195. doi:10.1007/BF00310981


Wild short-toed tree creepers in southern Germany were exposed to tape recordings of seven song types from other dialects or song institutions and sixteen song types from thirteen handreared Middle European birds. One song type from southern Germany was used as a control. The males reacted strongly to two slightly different Spaish dialects and not at all or only feebly to one song institution from Cyprus and four from Morocco. The song types of the hand-reared birds had less effect than controls. The songs of two birds from southern Germany hand-raised together were quite similar to those from Cyprus. We conclude that Cyprus and North Africa on the outskirts of the species distribution were colonized by short-toed tree creepers who had had no opportunity to learn their songs from adult conspecifics.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Thielcke
    • 1
  • Klaus Wüstenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieVogelwarte Radolfzell und AndechsRadolfzell-MöggingenFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations