Is the Soft Song of the Brownish-Flanked Bush Warbler an Aggressive Signal?
Article first published online: 12 JUN 2013
© 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Volume 119, Issue 8, pages 653–661, August 2013
How to Cite
Xia, C., Liu, J., Alström, P., Wu, Q., Zhang, Y. (2013), Is the Soft Song of the Brownish-Flanked Bush Warbler an Aggressive Signal?. Ethology, 119: 653–661. doi: 10.1111/eth.12104
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 12 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 19 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 17 OCT 2012
- National Natural Science Foundation of China. Grant Number: 31172098
- the Foundation for Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of Beijing Normal University
- scholarship award for excellent doctoral student granted by Ministry of Education
- Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists. Grant Number: 2011T2S04
Soft songs have been detected in many songbirds, but in most species, research on soft songs has lagged behind studies of broadcast songs. In this study, we describe the acoustic features of a soft song in the brownish-flanked bush warbler Cettia fortipes. Compared with the broadcast song, the warbler's soft song was characterized by a lower minimum frequency and longer duration, and it had a higher proportion of rapid frequency modulation notes. Using playback experiments, some in combination with mounted specimens, we found different responses to soft and broadcast songs, and we found that soft song can predict aggressive escalation (attack). We conclude that the soft song is an aggressive signal in this species.