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Note types and coding in parid vocalizations. II: The chick-a-dee call of the mountain chickadee (Poecile gambeli)

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We describe the chick-a-dee call of the mountain chickadee, Poecile gambeli (Ridgway, 1886), by classifying the various call notes into six types (A, A/B, B, C, Dh, and D). Note-type analyses identify a high degree of similarity among A and A/B notes in the ascending duration, descending duration, and note peak frequency, and among A/B and B notes in the end frequency. This statistical result paralleled disagreements between human sorters where A, A/B, and B notes were most often misclassified. Moreover, virtually all parameters measured showed significant variation across individuals. Therefore, the particular acoustic cues used in the discrimination of note types and individuals remain unknown, but it is likely that a constellation of features is used rather than one or two particularly salient features.

Nous décrivons le chant d'appel de la mésange des montagnes, Poecile gambeli (Ridgway, 1886), en classifiant les différentes notes en six catégories (A, A/B, B, C, Dh et D). Une analyse comparative de ces différents types de notes a permis d'identifier un haut degré de similarité entre les notes A et A/B dans la durée des parties ascendante et descendante, ainsi que dans la fréquence la plus haute de la note et entre les notes A/B et B dans la fréquence finale. Ce résultat statistique corrobore les désaccords qui surviennent lors du tri visuel par des humains, où les notes de type A, A/B et B sont souvent mal classées. Si toutes les caractéristiques mesurées présentent une variation significative entre individus, on ne connaît toujours pas celles qui sont effectivement utilisées dans la différenciation des notes et dans le processus de reconnaissance individuelle. Il semble plus probable qu'une combinaison de plusieurs caractéristiques soit utilisée plutôt qu'une ou deux caractéristiques en particulier.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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