Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Song variation in insular and mainland California Brown Creepers (Certhia familiaris)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1982
Authors:Baptista, LF, Johnson, RB
Journal:Journal of Ornithology
Date Published:1982
ISBN Number:2193-7192
Keywords:Certhia, Certhia americana, Certhia familiaris, Certhiidae, Mohoua novaeseelandiae
Abstract:Summary Songs of Brown-Creepers (Certhia familiaris) in California were studied. Each individual usually sang one theme. Two geographic groups of songs were described which were designated the northern and southern dialects. These songs differed in the morphology of the introductory and terminal syllables. The northern dialect is currently known to extend from Point Reyes to the City of San Francisco, and includes birds from east San Francisco Bay. The southern dialect ranges from Carmel and Point Lobos to Morro Bay. Birds from the Hastings Reservation, 30 miles inland, sang the southern dialect. Creepers on Angel Island exhibited the “typical” island phenomenon of simpler structure but greater individual variability. We suggested that lack of social interaction due to dispersed habitat has contributed to these song changes. California Creeper songs are more variable with regard to note sequencing than those of their European congeners.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith