Song learning by chaffinches: how accurate, and from where?

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2003
Authors:Lachlan, RF, Slater, PJB
Journal:Animal Behaviour
Date Published:2003
ISBN Number:0003-3472
Keywords:Fringilla, Fringilla coelebs, Fringillidae
Abstract:Geographical variation in song is a common feature of populations of territorial songbirds. However, the factors responsible for the levels and patterns of variation have not been examined in detail. We measured geographical variation of songs in chaffinches, Fringilla coelebs, in samples from five locations in Scotland, U.K. We found substantial variation in the level of song sharing between locations. It was highest in isolated island areas and in a recently populated area. By comparing our data with a spatial simulation model designed to mimic the different areas, we calculated estimates of cultural mutation that ranged between 0.001 and 0.03, with a maximum possible value of 0.05, and found that chaffinches had a significant preference for learning songs not from immediate neighbours, but from males about 500
Short Title:Animal Behaviour
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith