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Abstract

The temporal aspects of singing interactions among birds have received relatively little attention. To determine if the song delivery of one individual is affected by that of its territorial neighbor, I recorded singing interactions between territorial ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus). Ovenbirds appeared to adopt one of two roles during singing interactions, Type I or Type II singers. Type II singers placed more of their songs immediately after the song of their neighbor than expected. The singing pattern of Type I singers could not be distinguished from a random pattern with respect to their neighbor's songs. In each observed pair of interacting birds, one individual was a Type I singer and one was a Type II singer. Although there was some intra-individual variation, most birds maintained the same role with each of their recorded territorial neighbors. Variation occurred between the two study sites in the extent that individuals overlapped the songs of their neighbors. Song overlap was common at one site, but occurred as, or less, often than expected at the other site.