Territorial response of Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) to playback of Carolina chickadee and black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) song
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Environment and Natural Resources Honors Theses; 2013
Two morphologically similar sister species, Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) and black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), distinguished primarily by song, have distinct geographic ranges except for a thin band of overlap. I used a play-back experiment to determine if Carolina chickadees perceive black-capped chickadees as conspecific or heterospecific by investigating differences in territorial responses to song playback in Columbus, Ohio, approximately 55 miles south of the hybrid zone in northern Ohio. I hypothesized that Carolina chickadees would show a significant difference in territorial response to conspecific song than to black-capped chickadee song. Seven Carolina chickadees were presented with both a Carolina and black-capped chickadee song. I recorded the number of songs sung by territorial males during pre-playback, playback, and post-playback and the minimum approach distance to the speaker. The results showed that in general the Carolina chickadees responded more aggressively to Carolina song, however the differences did not quite reach significance (p=0.063). The results show that in a historically Carolina chickadee range, chickadees discriminate between species, suggesting that the sympatry between the two species is evolutionarily recent since no discrimination is observed within the hybrid zone.
Academic Major: Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics
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