A species-specific acoustic cue for selective song learning in the white-crowned sparrow

Citation
Ja. Soha et P. Marler, A species-specific acoustic cue for selective song learning in the white-crowned sparrow, ANIM BEHAV, 60, 2000, pp. 297-306
Citations number
40
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
ISSN journal
0003-3472 → ACNP
Volume
60
Year of publication
2000
Part
3
Pages
297 - 306
Database
ISI
SICI code
0003-3472(200009)60:<297:ASACFS>2.0.ZU;2-Y
Abstract
Song learning in birds is paradoxical. Without tutoring, songbirds do not d evelop normal songs. Yet despite this inability, birds possess extensive fo reknowledge; in a mechanistic sense, about the normal song of their species . When given a choice of tape recordings, young, naive songbirds select sou nds of their own species for imitation. We tape-tutored white-crowned sparr ows, Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha, with a set of manipulated songs to in vestigate whether the introductory whistle universally present in white-cro wned sparrow song guides selective song learning in this species. Our resul ts confirm that this whistle serves as a cue for song learning, enabling ac quisition of normally rejected sounds of other species, including hermit th rush, Catharus guttatus, notes, which have a sound quality distinct from th at of natural white-crowned sparrow phrases. Our results support the conclu sion that sensory mechanisms rather than motor constraints are primarily re sponsible for the selectivity seen in song learning. (C) 2000 The Associati on for the Study of Animal Behaviour.