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Geographic variation in songs of the Bewick's wren: a search for correlations with avifaunal complexity

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Summary

Song characteristics of the Bewick's wren (Thryomanes bewickii) are compared from nine localities in the western United States. Character shifts, i.e., a difference in means, are evident for all song characters: Arizona and Colorado songs are especially short and long, respectively (Figs. 1, 2); songs of insular (Santa Cruz Is.) and nearby mainland populations in California are very dissimilar (Table 1); excluding the insular population, the frequency range of song phrases is positively correlated with latitude (Fig. 3). Variance shifts, i.e., a difference in repertoire size or Coefficients of Variation (CV's) of measured song characters, are also present; most notably, Arizona males have exceptionally stereotyped songs, with small song phrase repertoires (Table 2) and low CV's. Population densities and/or habitat structure undoubtedly influence signal design, but correlations reported here suggest that the avifaunal complexity and the corresponding vocal milieu should also be examined rigorously as possibly important influences.

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Kroodsma, D.E. Geographic variation in songs of the Bewick's wren: a search for correlations with avifaunal complexity. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 16, 143–150 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00295148

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00295148

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