Song Learning in the Anna Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Authors

  • Luis F. Baptista,

    1. Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, and Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum A. Koenig, Bonn
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    • 2

      Baptista, L. F. & Schuchmann, K.-L. 1989: Song learning in the Anna hummingbird (Calypte anna). Ethology 84, 15–26.

  • Karl-L. Schuchmann

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, and Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum A. Koenig, Bonn
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    • 2

      Baptista, L. F. & Schuchmann, K.-L. 1989: Song learning in the Anna hummingbird (Calypte anna). Ethology 84, 15–26.


Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum A. Koenig, Adenauer-Allee 150–164, 5300 Bonn 1.

Abstract

Songs of wild male Anna hummingbirds (Calypte anna) consist of syllables grouped into phrases. Nearest neighbors tend to share similar syllable types, rhythms and syntax. Songs from different localities contain different syllable types, syntax and repetition indices. A male raised by hand in isolation produced a song consisting of highly variable syllable types of a wide frequency range. The song was simple in structure, and syllables were not grouped into phrases. Three males raised by hand as a group sang songs containing two stereotyped syllable types sung in alternating sequence and without phrase structure. These three males shared syllable types and syntax. The data from our study indicate that despite its relatively simple syrinx the Anna hummingbird learns syllable types, frequency, rhythm and syntax (as do oscines with their more complex syringes) during the song development process.

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