Daring birds sing, and win the girlJuly 9th, 2008 - 6:30 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, July 9 (ANI): A collaborative study by experts from the University of Antwerp and at Eotvos University, Budapest suggests that bird song has a prominent and well-established role in sexual selection, and that it displays considerable variation among individuals, with a potentially strong personality component.
Lead researcher Laszlo Garamszegiand says that singing may reveal risk taking because conspicuous songs not only attract females, they may also attract the attention of predators.
The researcher believes that only high-quality individuals can afford to display attractive songs, and they will necessarily be risk takers.
A bird’’s vocal repertoire may also highlight exploration because adventurous individuals will explore a range of habitats, where they encounter diverse acoustic features from other individuals that can be incorporated into their song.
Garamszegis team recorded the song of 24 males in a European Collared Flycatcher population, and characterised several song features.
The researchers also performed behavioural tests with the same males to determine explorative behaviour in an altered breeding environment, and to assess risk taking when a potential predator was approaching.
They said that male birds that sang at low song posts relative to the surrounding vegetation appeared to be explorers and risk takers.
According to them, singing close to the ground might involve higher predation risk because it offered less concealment, and put males in a conspicuous position from the predators eye.
Only prime quality individuals could cope with such costs of exposed singing, they said, because cheaters would be eliminated by predators.
Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that the chose of song post could influence mating success, as males from lower posts were also found to establish pair bonds earlier.
They said that it was probably due to the female preference for males singing in exposed sites.
The researcher claim that theirs is the first study to reveal in a non-human taxon that the male’’s need to balance investment in reproduction against risk taking is reflected in sexual displays.
According to them, this may be important information for choosy females seeking partners with personality traits that will enhance breeding success.
They believe that their findings may help further scientists understanding of both the use of conspicuous sexual signals in animals, and the deep evolutionary origin of personality in humans.
The study has been reported in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. (ANI)
- Oz birds lure mates with 'scary movie effect' - Jan 19, 2011
- Feeding birds impact male mating chances - Dec 27, 2010
- Feeding the birds can delay their chorus at the crack of dawn - Jan 09, 2011
- Light pollution screws up songbirds' sex lives - Sep 17, 2010
- Tiny male mice sing songs to impress females - Jan 29, 2012
- Sex or nice weather - the agonizing choice some birds face - Apr 07, 2011
- UK exhibition to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about wild sex - Jan 30, 2011
- Hearing sexual signals helps male crickets grow larger - May 13, 2010
- How eavesdropping on sexual signals helps young male crickets - May 13, 2010
- Male mice sing to attract females - Jan 27, 2012
- Visual stimulation from attractive males positively affects brooding females - Jun 25, 2010
- How male great bustards use Sun to woo the ladies - Feb 16, 2010
- 'Virtual mates' shed light on role of romance in parrot calls - Aug 04, 2010
- Shrimps 'rumble' to keep predators at bay - Sep 09, 2011
- Sparrows twittering louder to be heard - Apr 03, 2012
Tags: acoustic features, attractive songs, bird song, cheaters, collaborative study, component lead, concealment, eotvos university, female preference, flycatcher, male birds, pair bonds, predation risk, prime quality, quality individuals, risk takers, sexual selection, song features, university of antwerp, vocal repertoire