The acoustic basis of mate recognition by female zebra finches taeniopygia guttata
Animal Behaviour 27(2): 376-380
ISSN/ISBN: 0003-3472 DOI: 10.1016/0003-3472(79)90172-6
Laboratory experiments were conducted to assess the extent to which female zebra finches (T. guttata) respond preferentially to the song of their own mate versus the song of a neighboring conspecific male. Following a 2-3 day period of separation from their mates, 20 females were tested individually in 30 min simultaneous auditory choice tests. Of the birds that showed clear preferences as assessed via approach duration scores, 14 strongly preferred the song of their mate, and 2 preferred the song of a neighbor. Thus, one possible function of male zebra finch song, which is highly variable inter-individually, is to provide his mate with an acoustic basis of individual recognition that may serve to strengthen and/or maintain the pair bond.