Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Paired Male Song Sparrows Sing More When Their Mate Is Incubating

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Foote, JR, Barber, CA
Journal:The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Date Published:2009
ISBN Number:15594491
Keywords:Emberizidae, Melospiza, Melospiza melodia, Passerella, Passerella melodia, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia melodia
Abstract:The fertility announcement hypothesis proposes that avian males should sing at a high rate when their mate is fertile to guard their paternity. We examined if male Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) sing more during the incubation period when they are free of constraints of physical mate guarding. We assessed song rates of eight males for 1 hr-periods every 1-2 days during each breeding stage over two consecutive broods within one season. Males sang significantly more during periods when their mate was incubating than during the pre-fertile, or fertile periods, or while feeding young (second brood). Males may be singing at high rates during incubation to maintain contact with their mate and/or to advertise for extra-pair copulations.
Short Title:The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith