A test of the signal transmission hypothesis of vocal imitation in the white-eyed vireo (Vireo griseus)

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Virginia Tech


This study compared male response to playback and interspecific vocal imitation in two White-eyed Vireo populations, in southwestern Virginia and eastern North Carolina. White-eyed Vireos are hypothesized to imitate notes from other birds which transmit efficiently through dense habitat. Male White-eyed Vireos did not respond differently to playback of each other I s songs. The song repertoires between Virginia and North Carolina were not found to include strikingly different imitations despite the different sound environments. Degradation and attenuation of White-eyed Vireo song notes was also compared between the two locations. There was no statistically significant difference in degradation or attenuation of notes when compared to native or foreign habitat. Notes occurring more frequently in the population did not transmit more efficiently. Notes unique to North Carolina did transmit more efficiently in their native habitat, but this difference was explained by the relatively less dense habitat in North Carolina.