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Title: The effect of experience on duet coordination in Carolina wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Authors: Dalehite, Willow
Advisors: Riehl, Christina
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Class Year: 2022
Abstract: Vocal duetting in birds is a form of communication between two members of a mated pair. In passerines, it often occurs in species with a tropical life history, including the temperate Carolina wren. Various hypotheses for the function of duetting have been investigated in other species, but little is known about its fitness role in Carolina wrens. To determine whether duet coordination is a learned behavior that could signal experience defending territory or investment in the pair bond, I compared duets in pairs with at least one adult to pairs with only hatch-years. I found that age does not impact duet coordination, but in new pairs, duets became slightly more coordinated over a short period of time. My results shed light on the possible functions and evolutionary explanations for duetting behavior in Carolina wrens, and I propose that non-adaptive hypotheses based on the evolutionary lineage of the species are worthy of consideration.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1992-2023

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