Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Song duets function primarily as cooperative displays in pairs of happy wrens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Christopher Neal Templeton, Karla D. Rivera-Caceres, Nigel Ian Mann, Peter James Bramwell Slater

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Vocal duetting occurs in diverse animal groups. Members of a mated pair may duet to communicate with each other or with other individuals. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of duets, and studies often provide support for the joint resource defence or mate-guarding hypotheses. We evaluated these hypotheses for the happy wren, Pheugopedius felix, using a two-speaker playback experiment. We observed the responses of happy wren pairs to playback of solo male, solo female and male/female duet songs, and compared these with heterospecific song control trials. Happy wrens responded aggressively to conspecific song playback by moving closer to their mate, approaching the playback speakers and increasing singing rates. Both sexes increased singing and especially duetting rates in response to conspecific playback. There were no differences in which sex initiated or terminated duets nor did birds vary the proportion of their partner's songs answered across conspecific treatments. Furthermore, neither sex treated unmated intruders (solo playback) as more threatening than mated intruders (duet playback). Together, these results argue against the mate-guarding hypothesis and instead indicate that duetting in happy wrens functions primarily in cooperative territory defence. Overall, males sang more than females, moved closer to the speakers and were more likely to answer their partner's songs, suggesting that males take a primary role in territorial defence. However, females also responded strongly, especially when female intruders were present (duet or female solo playback), which suggests a sex-specific division of labour in their territorial defence. (C) 2011 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1407
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume82
Issue number6
Early online date22 Oct 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Higher songs of city birds may not be an individual response to noise

    Zollinger, S. A., Slater, P. J. B., Nemeth, E. & Brumm, H., 16 Aug 2017, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284, 1860, 8 p., 20170602.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Learning and cultural transmission in chaffinch song

    Riebel, K., Lachlan, R. F. & Slater, P. J. B., May 2015, Advances in the Study of Behavior. Naguib, M., Brockmann, H. J., Mitani, J. C., Simmons, L. W., Barrett, L., Healy, S. & Slater, P. J. B. (eds.). Elsevier, Vol. 47. p. 181-227 (Advances in the Study of Behavior; vol. 47).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  3. Female happy wrens select songs to cooperate with their mates rather than confront intruders

    Templeton, C. N., Ríos-Chelén, A. A., Quirós-Guerrero, E., Mann, N. I. & Slater, P. J. B., 23 Feb 2013, In: Biology Letters. 9, 1, 20120863.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. An experimental study of duet integration in the happy wren, Pheugopedius felix

    Templeton, C. N., Mann, N. I., Rios-Chelend, A., Quiros-Guerrero, E. & Slater, P. J. B., 2013, In: Animal Behaviour. 86, p. 821-827

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Vocal learning

    Slater, P. J. B. & Janik, V. M., 2010, Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior. Breed, M. & Moore, J. (eds.). Elsevier, p. 551-557 7 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Related by journal

  1. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Manon Karin Schweinfurth (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2021 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)

    1 Jan 201831 Dec 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)

    15 Sep 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Michael Munro Webster (Editor)

    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)

    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Are cognitive abilities under selection by female choice? A comment on Chen et al. (2019)

    Camacho-Alpízar, A., Griffin, A. S. & Guillette, L. M., Jul 2020, In: Animal Behaviour. 165, p. e1-e3

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Cognitive styles: speed–accuracy trade-offs underlie individual differences in archerfish

    Jones, N. A. R., Webster, M., Newport, C., Templeton, C. N., Schuster, S. & Rendell, L., Feb 2020, In: Animal Behaviour. 160, p. 1-14 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The reliability of individual vocal signature varies across the bonobo's graded repertoire

    Keenan, S., Mathevon, N., Stevens, J. M. G., Nicolè, F., Zuberbühler, K., Guéry, J. P. & Levréro, F., Nov 2020, In: Animal Behaviour. 169, p. 9-21 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Evolutionary roads to syntax

    Zuberbuhler, K., May 2019, In: Animal Behaviour. 151, p. 259-265

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Male Norway rats cooperate according to direct but not generalized reciprocity rules

    Schweinfurth, M. K., Aeschbacher, J., Santi, M. & Taborsky, M., Jun 2019, In: Animal Behaviour. 152, p. 93-101

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 25344315

Top