Zebra finch song parameters are affected by the breeding status of the male and the ambient temperature conditions

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Maëlle Lefeuvre , Joanna Rutkowska


Bird song is a crucial feature for mate choice and reproduction. Song is known to communicate information related to the quality of the mate, through song complexity, structure or finer changes in syllable characteristics. It has been shown in zebra finches that those characteristics can be affected by various factors including motivation, hormone levels or extreme temperature. However, although the literature on zebra finch song is substantial, some factors have been neglected. In this paper, we recorded male zebra finches in two breeding contexts (before and after pairing) and in two ambient temperature conditions (stable and variable) to see how those factors could influence song production. We found strong differences between the two breeding contexts: compared to their song before pairing, males that were paired had lower song rate, syllable consistency, frequency and entropy, while surprisingly the amplitude of their syllables increased. Temperature variability had an impact on the extent of these differences, but did not directly affect the song parameters that we measured. Our results describe for the first time how breeding status and temperature variability can affect zebra finch song, and give some new insights into the subtleties of the acoustic communication of this model species.




Life Sciences


Taeniopygia guttata, social context, temperature variability, syllable characteristics, acoustic communication, social context, temperature variability, syllable characteristics, Acoustic communication


Published: 2024-03-17 05:39


CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data and Code Availability Statement:
The data used in this study is available using this DOI: https://doi.org/10.57903/UJ/KF4AH3