e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    A limit to sustained performance constrains trill length in birdsong

    Sierro, Javier, de Kort, Selvino R and Hartley, Ian R (2023) A limit to sustained performance constrains trill length in birdsong. iScience, 26 (11). 108206. ISSN 2589-0042

    [img]
    Preview
    Published Version
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

    Download (3MB) | Preview

    Abstract

    In birds, song performance determines the outcome of contests over crucial resources. We hypothesized that 1) sustained performance is limited within song, resulting in a performance decline towards the end and 2) the impact of song length is compromised if performance declines. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed the songs of 597 bird species (26 families) and conducted a playback experiment on blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Our multi-species analysis showed that song performance declines after sustained singing, supporting our hypothesis. If the performance decline is determined by individual attributes (i.e., physical condition), our results explain how trill length can honestly signal quality. Our experiment showed that longer trills of high performance elicited a stronger response during territorial interactions. However, long trills that declined in performance elicited a weaker response than short, high-performance trills. A trade-off between the duration and performance quality of a motor display can be an important aspect in communication across taxa.

    Impact and Reach

    Statistics

    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    56Downloads
    6 month trend
    22Hits

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

    Altmetric

    Repository staff only

    Edit record Edit record