Playback of male song advanced onset of nest building but not initial egg date or breeding synchrony in the Great Tit Parus major

  • Ye Gong
  • Bo Qin
  • Yufang Qin
  • Wei SunEmail author
  • Haitao WangEmail author
Short Communication


Social stimulation can hasten and synchronize breeding in colonial species. However, whether it affects reproductive timing in territorial species, or whether social stimuli from different sexes are important remains largely unknown. Vocalizations of both sexes were played back in Great Tits. Females exposed to male songs built nests earlier, but did not lay earlier or breed more synchronously, while female calls had no effect. This study demonstrated social stimuli from males influenced nest building. In contrast to colonial species, laying date and breeding synchrony may be affected by other external cues in the Great Tits.


Social stimulation Nesting time Laying time Territorial species Great Tit 


Das Vorspielen des Gesangs von Männchen beschleunigt bei Kohlmeisen ( Parus major ) den Beginn des Nestbaus, nicht jedoch den der ersten Eiablage oder die Brut- Synchronisation

Bei in Kolonien lebenden Arten kann soziale Stimulation den Brutprozess beschleunigen und synchronisieren. Bislang ist jedoch weitgehend unbekannt, ob bei territorialen Arten soziale Stimulationen eine Auswirkung auf den Ablauf des Fortpflanzungsprozesses haben oder ob soziale Stimuli des jeweils anderen Geschlechts in irgendeiner Weise wichtig sind. Gesänge beider Geschlechter wurden Kohlmeisen vorgespielt, und Weibchen, denen Gesang von Männchen vorgespielt wurde, begannen früher mit dem Nestbau, nicht aber mit der Eiablage und brüteten auch nicht stärker synchron. Lautäußerungen von Weibchen hatten überhaupt keine Auswirkungen auf sie. Diese Untersuchung zeigt, dass soziale Stimulation durch Männchen den Nestbau beeinflusst. Im Gegensatz zu in Kolonien lebenden Arten wird bei Kohlmeisen die Eiablage und Brut-Synchronisation möglicherweise von anderen, externen Faktoren beeinflusst.



We appreciate Shi Jiao, Mingju E for the assistance with fieldwork. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770419 to HW) and Training Foundation of Northeast Normal University (NENU-STC07013).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The field study was permitted by National Animal Research Authority in Northeast Normal University, China (approval number: NENU-20080416) and the Forestry Bureau of Jilin Province of China (approval number: [2006]178).

Supplementary material

10336_2019_1734_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jilin Engineering Laboratory for Avian Ecology and Conservation Genetics, School of Life SciencesNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Jilin Momoge National Nature Reserve AdministrationZhenlaiChina
  3. 3.Jilin Key Laboratory of Animal Resource Conservation and UtilizationNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory for Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Institute of Grassland ScienceNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina

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