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Song Types in a Population of Great Tits (Parus Major): Their Distribution, Abundance and Acquisition By Individuals

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This 6-year study of song acquisition in a marked population of great tits suggests that songs are learned both before and after dispersal, songs are not learned from fathers. The spatial and temporal distribution of songs in the population is also discussed. There is a decline in the proportion of the song repertoire shared with increasing distance from a male, but there is no consistent pattern of song type grouping, some songs are clumped while others are not. Size of repertoire is not related to male age. These results are discussed in relation to laboratory studies of song learning, song dialects and functional hypotheses concerning song learning.

Affiliations: 1: Edward Grey Institute of Ornithology, Oxford, England

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