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Abstract

The role of individual learning in the general song organization is studied in the songs of greenfinches, canaries and their hybrids. The songs of a greenfinch, raised by a canary, reveal that the temporal organization is species-specifically determined by the song program: the vocal patterns, which he had learnt from the canary, his foster parent, are arranged according to the rules of the greenfinch program. These species-specific rules disappear, even in adults, in the songs of autumn and early spring.