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Vocal Repertoire of the Black-Capped Chickadee

Millicent S. Ficken, Robert W. Ficken and Steve R. Witkin
The Auk
Vol. 95, No. 1 (Jan., 1978), pp. 34-48
DOI: 10.2307/4085493
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4085493
Page Count: 15
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Vocal Repertoire of the Black-Capped Chickadee
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Abstract

Describes the physical characteristics, usages, and probable functions of 11 vocalizations of adult Black-capped Chickadees and 2 of the young. Some modifications of the vocal repertoire as compared with other passerines are associated with sociality and hole-nesting. The Fee-bee, usually considered the song of this chickadee, is less complex than some call notes and also has some differences in function compared to the songs of other passerines. The two most complex calls (Chick-a-dee and Gargle) are associated with social activities. Vocal signals tend toward sexual segregation, which may be important in a monomorphic species. The vocalizations of this species are compared with those of other parids, and selection pressures acting on the structure of vocalizations are discussed. The more complex vocalizations of this species are being studied extensively as mentioned in the accounts below, and are only generally described in this paper.

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