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Vocal communication at the nest between mates in wild zebra finches : a private vocal duet?

Elie, Julie E., Mariette, Mylene M., Soula, Hedi A., Griffith, Simon C., Mathevon, Nicolas and Vignal, Clementine 2010, Vocal communication at the nest between mates in wild zebra finches : a private vocal duet?, Animal behaviour, vol. 80, no. 4, pp. 597-605, doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.06.003.

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Title Vocal communication at the nest between mates in wild zebra finches : a private vocal duet?
Author(s) Elie, Julie E.
Mariette, Mylene M.
Soula, Hedi A.
Griffith, Simon C.
Mathevon, Nicolas
Vignal, Clementine
Journal name Animal behaviour
Volume number 80
Issue number 4
Start page 597
End page 605
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2010
ISSN 0003-3472
Keyword(s) acoustic communication
pair bond
private communication
reproduction
social monogamy
songbird
Taeniopygia guttata
vocal duet
zebra finch
Summary Bird vocal duets are joint displays where two individuals, generally a mated pair, produce temporally coordinated vocalizations. Duets may contribute to pair bond maintenance, mate guarding or collaborative defence of resources. The degree of coordination between mates and the variety of vocalizations, however, vary considerably. Although only 3–4.3% of bird species have been reported to duet, this may be because studies have generally focused on conspicuous duets, and more private forms of duet might have been overlooked. We investigated private vocal communication between mates in wild zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a gregarious Australian songbird that forms life-long pair bonds. The partners are inseparable unless nest building, incubating or brooding. Using microphones inside nestboxes, we monitored interactive communication between partners at the nest and its variation during different stages of breeding. After periods of separation, partners performed coordinated mutual vocal displays involving specific soft vocal elements that fulfilled all the criteria used to define duets. In addition, using playback experiments, we obtained preliminary results suggesting that these soft calls could allow mate recognition. Thus, we propose that mutual displays at the nest in zebra finches represent private vocal duets and may function to mediate pair bond maintenance.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.06.003
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30059344

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