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Ontogeny of Song in Captive Duet-Singing Slate-Coloured Boubous (Laniarius Funebris). a Study in Birdsong Epigenesis

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Ontogeny of song was studied in 11 L. funebris reared in captivity under different learning regimes. Song types usually were learned from conspecific tutors: Males learned from male, females from female tutors. In exceptional situations song types may be learnt from the other sex, proving an ability to produce song of both sexes. Birds reared without tutors nevertheless produced some species-typical song in generalized form, suggesting an innate predisposition for these vocalizations. Once established during the first 6-8 months of life, individual repertoires remained unchanged for years. Pair mates regularly dueted. Neither random pairings nor mate exchanges revealed repertoire alteration in mates. Neither misdeveloped nor reduced song repertoires hampered successful breeding in captivity.

Affiliations: 1: (Max- Planck- Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie, D-8130 Seewiesen, West-Germany


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