The Functional Significance of Vocal Mimicry in Song

The Functional Significance of Vocal Mimicry in Song THE FUNCTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE OF VOCAL MIMICRY IN SONG by ANDREW M. HINDMARSH1)2) (Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, Department of Zoology, Oxford, England) (Acc. 15-II-1986) Introduction Interspecific vocal mimicry by free-living birds has attracted a great deal of discussion (e.g. Armstrong, 1973; KREBS & KROODSMA, 1980; BAYLIS, 1982) but there have been very few attempts to study the phenomenon in detail. This is surprising as reviews have suggested that at least 20 % of passerines mimic to some extent (MARSHALL, 1950; VERNON, 1973) and about 5 % can be regard as frequent mimics (HINDMARSH, 1984b). The first major study of a mimicking species was with marsh warblers (Acrocephalus patustris) (LEMAIRE, 1974, 1975a, b; DOWSETT-LEMAIRE, 1979) and showed that they mimic an average of 76 species, of which about 40 % are European and 60 % African. However, as is the case with other, smaller studies, no attempt was made to analyse the nature of the sounds being mimicked and so little light was shed on the functional question of why such mimicry should occur. This led KREBS & KROODSMA (1980) to conclude their review of functional hypotheses by commenting that 'there are plenty of hypotheses about the significance http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behaviour Brill

The Functional Significance of Vocal Mimicry in Song

Behaviour, Volume 99 (1-2): 87 – Jan 1, 1986

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1986 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0005-7959
eISSN
1568-539X
D.O.I.
10.1163/156853986X00423
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE FUNCTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE OF VOCAL MIMICRY IN SONG by ANDREW M. HINDMARSH1)2) (Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, Department of Zoology, Oxford, England) (Acc. 15-II-1986) Introduction Interspecific vocal mimicry by free-living birds has attracted a great deal of discussion (e.g. Armstrong, 1973; KREBS & KROODSMA, 1980; BAYLIS, 1982) but there have been very few attempts to study the phenomenon in detail. This is surprising as reviews have suggested that at least 20 % of passerines mimic to some extent (MARSHALL, 1950; VERNON, 1973) and about 5 % can be regard as frequent mimics (HINDMARSH, 1984b). The first major study of a mimicking species was with marsh warblers (Acrocephalus patustris) (LEMAIRE, 1974, 1975a, b; DOWSETT-LEMAIRE, 1979) and showed that they mimic an average of 76 species, of which about 40 % are European and 60 % African. However, as is the case with other, smaller studies, no attempt was made to analyse the nature of the sounds being mimicked and so little light was shed on the functional question of why such mimicry should occur. This led KREBS & KROODSMA (1980) to conclude their review of functional hypotheses by commenting that 'there are plenty of hypotheses about the significance

Journal

BehaviourBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1986

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