Song Performance Rules in the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus salauris)

H Bhattacharya, J Cirillo, BR Subba, D Todt

Abstract

Members of the thrush family (Turdidae) are renowned for a quite melodious but nevertheless complex mode of singing. Such holds true also for the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) that settles in some tropical regions of Asia. We have studied the territorial singing of this species in the area of Biratnagar (Nepal), and present a list of first results here. Analysis of singing episodes of (duration ~ 40 min each) recorded from adult males (n=5) who were flagging their territories at the beginning of their breeding season (March 2007), yielded three sets of findings: (1) oriental magpie robins resemble some song performance rules of other thrushes, and such concern especially the time domain. (2) However, some interesting idiosyncracy were found as well. This was true, for instance, for the robins’ repetitive singing style and their mode of motif type combination within and also across songs. (3) In addition, it was remarkable that neighbours did not share parts of their repertoires. These findings contribute to the discussion of two aspects; namely the use of ‘song as an interactive tool’ and the role of ‘learning as an origin of pattern similarity’.

Keywords: Oriental magpie robin; Copsychus salauris; Repertoire size; Repertoire performance; Structural hierarchy.

doi:10.3126/on.v5i1.791

Our Nature (2007)5: 1-13

Keywords

Oriental magpie robin; Copsychus salauris; Repertoire size; Repertoire performance; Structural hierarchy
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