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Variable and Constant Structures in Greenfinch Songs (Chloris Chloris) in Different Locations

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For greenfinches, songs from different places in Europe have been studied. It has been determined which characteristics are constant (typical for all songs) and which are variable (typical for one place only). The song of greenfinches is not stereotyped: a given song element may be followed alternately by different element types. Within a breeding area most males sing the same element types. The following general features are characteristic for all songs studied: 1) size of the repertoire (30 - 35 different element types); 2) the general shape of the elements (four basic patterns, the four classes of element types, were found in all locations; 3) syntax feature (length and temporal pattern of "tour"). The exact shape of the elements is variable. These details are modified by learning. Song elements from different breeding areas show different rising or falling frequencies. The divergence in the morphology of the elements does not increase with increasing distance. Thus the capacity to alter the basic element pattern is very limited.

Affiliations: 1: Fachbereich Biologie der Universität Kaiserslautern, W.-Germany

10.1163/156853977X00252
/content/journals/10.1163/156853977x00252
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853977x00252
1977-01-01
2016-12-11

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