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Female choice in the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus: multiple cues from song and territory quality
journal contributionposted on 01.01.1997, 00:00 authored by Kate BuchananKate Buchanan, C K Catchpole
Recent models of animal signalling emphasize the evolution of complex displays containing 'multiple messages'. A variety of potential cues used in female choice were investigated during a three-year field study of the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus. Twelve possible cues were investigated, and three were found to have a significant influence upon pairing date. Two were different measures of song (repertoire size and song flighting) and one a measure of territory (territory size). Repertoire and territory size had a significant influence on pairing date in all three years, and song-flighting in two. The three cues were not intercorrelated and so had independent effects upon pairing date. We suggest that females select males upon multiple cues as these reflect different aspects of male and territory quality.