Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

A study of the vocal behavior of the American robin Public Deposited

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  • To gain a better foothold on the communication system of the avifauna, calls and songs of the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) were recorded and analyzed using the sound spectrograph. Ten different calls were recognized as follows: three alarm calls, an excitement call, challenge call, contact call, two flight calls and begging by both the nestling and fledgling, Some calls showed a great deal of variation, not only from bird to bird but within any single bird's repertoire. Several notes were recorded for which functions could not be speculated upon. Further, males were tested by means of playbacks for their ability to recognize individuals by song. Comparisons of results from six birds tested with an unfamiliar song and five tested with a familiar Robin's song showed that Robins may possess this ability, but it was not definitely proven by the behaviorisms used as measures in this study. Some speculation is made as to why such a system developed and areas for further research are pointed out.
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