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Abstract

We recorded the song of six male canaries during their first and second year of life to see if we could detect systematic age-related changes. Soundspectrographic analysis revealed that many syllables from the previous year were omitted and many new ones were added. There was a significant increase in syllable repertoire during the second year. The proportion of single-element syllables increased between year 1 and year 2. These results indicate that neural pathways responsible for song learning in canaries remain plastic in adulthood. We suggest that the larger song repertoires of older ♂♂ confer a reproductive advantage by acting as a more potent stimulus on ♀♀.