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Short-Range and Long-Range Songs: Use of Two Acoustically Distinct Song Classes by Dark-Eyed Juncos

Russell C. Titus
The Auk
Vol. 115, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 386-393
DOI: 10.2307/4089197
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4089197
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Short-Range and Long-Range Songs: Use of Two Acoustically Distinct Song Classes by Dark-Eyed Juncos
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Abstract

Communication signals can be divided into two functional classes: long-range signals and short-range signals. The study of bird song has concentrated almost exclusively on long-range songs. Because bird song often is used as a model system for studying learning, mate choice, and territoriality, this lack of attention to short-range songs may have misrepresented our understanding of communication systems. Short-range songs are expected to differ acoustically and functionally from those broadcast over long distances. Male Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) produce two classes of song that appear to function as long-range and short-range signals, respectively. These two classes differ markedly in frequency and syntax as well as in repertoire size. In terms of use, rates of short-range song production were highest in conjunction with courtship displays, when males were within close proximity to fertile mates, and during interactions with other males. In contrast, production of long-range song was not associated with courtship displays, did not vary significantly with the reproductive state of females, and was produced when males were relatively far from conspecifics.

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