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Bioacoustics article in Condor

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Subject: Bioacoustics article in Condor
From: Jill Soha <>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2005 12:48:44 EST
Condor 107(4), November 2005
pp. 765-774


Author: Leger, Daniel W.

Department of Psychology and Nebraska Behavioral Biology Group,
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0308.

Birds with songs having two or more acoustically distinct elements can
arrange them either rigidly (i.e., in the same sequence) or
flexibly. Flexible song syntax can be achieved either by varying the
number of repetitions of elements or by combining elements in
different ways. Combinatorial syntax has been documented only in the
songs of oscine passerines and in one nonpasserine, but not in the
suboscine passerines. Dawn and day songs of a tyrant flycatcher, the
Flammulated Attila (Attila flammulatus), were recorded in Costa
Rica. Flexible syntax was noted in both dawn and day song. Attilas not
only varied the number of repetitions of their song elements but also
combined elements in various ways. This appears to be the first
reported case of combinatorial song syntax in a suboscine species.

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