Our work is the first study on the vocal repertoire of one of the babbler species, Elliot’s laughingthrush. Field studies were carried out in Hupingshan Nature Reserve, Hunan Province, China. There are three types of signals in the repertoire: songs, calls (chattering), and duets. Songs and calls are used by both males and females. The song consists of a quiet introduction (short note) and a louder main part (two or three tonal notes). There are up to four song variants in the repertoire of a given pair. All songs can be classified into three types. Types I and II represent songs with the main part consisting of three notes, while type III consists of two notes. Types I and II differ from each other in certain features of the frequency modulation shape of the first two notes. All song types can be used during the spontaneous vocalization of a single bird. However, their usage in other contexts differs. Songs of types I and II are more often uttered during vocal interactions of neighbor males. Songs of type III appear to be characteristic of male–female duets. Chattering (calls) is a continuous series of broadband notes. There are several (two to five) note variants in each series. Chattering can be used both during a male–female interaction and as an alarm call. We found an inverse correlation between (1) the duration of pauses between notes, and (2) the number of note variants (“repertoire size”) in a series. Both parameters probably reflect the internal state of an individual at a given moment.
Biology Bulletin – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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