Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Vocal communication in a songbird with a novel song repertoire

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

Why do individuals in many songbird species sing multiple song types? Previous studies have often described the current utility of possessing a vocal signal repertoire, but this may not explain why repertoires evolve. We looked for repertoire function in black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) populations with a song type repertoire that is probably derived from the single song type found in most populations across the species' geographic range. Through observations of dawn singing, and natural and simulated territorial countersinging interactions, we tested several hypotheses on how a repertoire might facilitate improved vocal communication. We failed to find significant evidence supporting an adaptive origin for song type repertoires. Although we found that naturally countersinging males matched song type approximately twice as often as expected by chance, matching was not associated with conflict escalation in either natural or simulated contests and, therefore, the exact function of song type matching in these birds remains unclear. In addition, we found that novel song types frequently appear in small isolated populations, which suggests that a repertoire might evolve simply as the nonadaptive result of imperfect song-learning combined with geographic isolation.

Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, Elon University, Elon, NC 27244, USA, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1878, USA;, Email:; 2: Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1878, USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation