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The relationships of breeding stage to daytime singing behaviour and song perch height in Bermuda White-eyed Vireos (Vireo griseus bermudianus)
  • Miguel Mejias,
  • David Wilson
Miguel Mejias
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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David Wilson
Memorial University of Newfoundland
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Bird song is crucial for attracting mates and defending territories, but different types of song or different singing behaviours may be involved in acquiring or maintaining each resource. Furthermore, male songbirds may adjust when and where they sing throughout the breeding season, depending on their breeding stage. However, such relationships remain untested in several avian taxa. Here, we studied male Bermuda White-eyed Vireos (Vireo griseus bermudianus), a passerine with two distinct song types (discrete and rambling), to test the mate attraction, territory defence, and nesting stage hypotheses. We compare song rate and song perch height among different stages of the breeding season and during the non-breeding season. We show that male vireos produce both song types during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, suggesting dual roles in mate choice and territorial defence. Singing rate did not differ between the two seasons, but, within the breeding season, males without nesting duties had significantly higher song rates than males with nesting duties. Song rate was lowest during the nestling stage, which coincided with the highest rate of nest predation. Song perch height was higher during the breeding season versus non-breeding season, among males without nesting duties compared to males with nesting duties, and when males produced discrete versus rambling songs. Our findings suggest that male vireos increase their conspicuousness to prospecting females by increasing singing rate and song perch height, and that they sing during the breeding and non-breeding seasons to defend year-round territories. Collectively, our study supports the mate attraction and territory defence hypotheses of bird song and suggests that Bermuda White-eyed Vireos adjust their singing rate in response to nest predation risk.
29 Nov 2022Submitted to Journal of Avian Biology
29 Nov 2022Submission Checks Completed
29 Nov 2022Assigned to Editor
29 Nov 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Dec 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
28 Jan 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
18 Apr 20231st Revision Received
18 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
18 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
18 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
19 Apr 2023Editorial Decision: Accept