Long-term influence of simulated territorial intrusions on dawn and dusk singing in the Winter Wren : spring versus autumn

Erne, N. and Amrhein, V.. (2008) Long-term influence of simulated territorial intrusions on dawn and dusk singing in the Winter Wren : spring versus autumn. Journal of ornithology, Vol. 149, H. 4. pp. 479-486.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5251744

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Males of many songbird species have peaks of singing activity at dawn and dusk. Singing during those twilight periods can function in territory proclamation, and males are suggested to adjust song output to the level of intruder pressure. We used song playback during the breeding season to simulate intrusions into territories of male Winter Wrens (Troglodytes troglodytes) shortly after dawn. We then compared male singing behaviour during the dawn and dusk chorus before and 1 day after the simulated intrusion. One day after the playback, male Wrens increased their song output before sunrise, which confirms our results from a previous study on dawn singing in autumn territories. At dusk, on the evening following the playback, males slightly increased song output after sunset, but singing activity at dusk was generally very low. We found no significant changes of song output after sunrise, before sunset, and between 2 days of control without playback. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that dawn and dusk singing is important for territory defence in spring. Unlike in autumn, however, increased singing in spring at dawn and dusk could also serve to defend other resources such as fertile mates or to strengthen the pair bond after a territorial challenge. In comparison with the results on autumnal singing, male Wrens started singing earlier at dawn during the breeding season, and they generally sang more songs at dawn and immediately after playback. The increase in absolute numbers of songs sung in the morning after playback seemed greater in spring than in autumn; however, the proportional increase relative to overall song output was similar in both seasons.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Behavioural Ecology (Amrhein)
UniBasel Contributors:Amrhein, Valentin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Blackwell Wissenschafts-Verlag
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:24
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:41

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