Phonetic description of song

teacher teacher teacher
p’cheer – p’cheer – p’cheer…
t-cheer, t-cheer, t-cheer… (tea-cher, tea-cher)

What do we know about ovenbird song?

• The primary song type (teacher teacher) varies among individuals
• Another type, called attenuated song, is highly variable. It consists of a series of a whink notes, a ple-bleep note, normal phrases and then rambling (Lein 1981)
• Flight song, an example of attenuated song, is heard mostly at twilight (Lein 1981)
• Incomplete and muted song occur when courting (Lein 1981)

• Countersings (Porneluzi et al. 2020)
• Adjusts pattern to avoid overlap and interference with other species
and other ovenbirds (Ficken et all 1985, Catchpole and Slater 2008)
• Identify neighbors and their positions (Weedon & Falls 1959)

How and when is song acquired?

No information is available on learning, sensitive periods or song development (Porneluzi et al. 2020)

How can we facilitate learning?

Since no studies have been done on ovenbird learning, we can only extrapolate from other sub-oscines and suspect their songs are not learned.

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Catchpole, C. K. and Slater, P. J. B., 2008. Bird Song Biological Themes and Variations: 137 . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Lein, M.R. (1981). Display behavior of Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus) II: song variation and singing behavior. Wilson Bull. 93: 21-41.

Popp, J. W. and Ficken R. W. 1987. Effects of non-specific song on the song of the overbird. Bird Behav., 7, 22-6

Popp, J. W., Ficken R. W. and Reinartz, J. A. 1985. Short-term temporal avoidance of interspecific acoustic interference among forest birds. Auk, 102, 744-8.

Porneluzi, P., M. A. Van Horn, and T. M. Donovan (2020). Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.ovenbi1.01

Weedon, J. S. & Falls, J. B. 1959. Differential response of male ovenbirds to recorded songs of neighouring and more distant individuals. Auk, 76, 343-51.