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Zebra finches change their call communication pattern in groups according to their reproductive status


PhysOrg

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The vocal repertoire of songbirds not only consists of complex song which is mainly uttered in the breeding season but is complemented by a large number of simpler calls. Their function however is still poorly understood. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen in Germany now recorded the calls of individual zebra finches behaving freely inside groups, and found that the birds change their call repertoire and calling behaviour in the group over the course of the breeding cycle. Using tiny microphone transmitters they discovered perfectly timed patterns of call communication that were associated with successful egg-laying.

 

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