Gjesteforelesning - Dr. Emma I Greig
Dr. Emma I Greig ved Cornell University, vil holde gjesteforelesningen:
Song learning and strategic signaling in splendid fairy-wrens
Dr. Greig is Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University. She took her Phd. in 2010 at the Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago
Bird songs often contain information about the signaler and influence receiver behavior. Understanding the relationship between signal, message
and response, however, can be complicated by many factors. I investigated one such factor, the cultural transmission of song, in cooperatively breeding splendid fairy-wrens (/Malurus splendens/), a species in which young males remain on natal territories after song crystallization.
Males learned songs from their social fathers irrespective of genetic relatedness, so song structure was highly dependent on a male's social environment. This suggests that songs may carry information about social and kin groups, but may not be reliable indicators of individual quality. Another factor that complicates the transmission of information to receivers is variation in the detectability of signals.
I investigated the function of a vocalization,the "Type II song," that is often given immediately after a predator call, a time when everyone may be listening. Male splendid fairy-wrens sing so reliably after the vocalization of grey butcherbirds that the joint songs resemble a duet, yet playback experiments and mount
presentations indicated that Type II songs were not alarm or mobbing calls. Instead, Type II songs appeared to be displays directed to conspecifics, which suggests that male fairy-wrens may be using predators to enhance the detectability of their own signal.