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Scripps College

Publication Date

Spring 2005

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


In this study, playback experiments were conducted on the Grey-breasted Wood Wren, H. leucophrys, at Yanayacu Biological Research Station and Center for Creative Studies in Ecuador. This study was conducted in order to see how reactive the birds were towards duets from the area, solos from the area, and duets from other regions of the country. Pairs were expected to react more strongly towards duets than solos and familiar duets stronger than unfamiliar ones. Two different playback experiments were conducted. In the first experiment, six different pairs were chosen along with four different song types, a Yanayacu duet, a male solo, and duets from two different regions of Ecuador. The trials took place in the morning. Four control pairs were also tested with only the Yanayacu duet in both morning and afternoon trials. In the second experiment, three different pairs and three different song types were played, the Yanayacu duet, female solos, and a song from a fourth region of Ecuador. In the first experiment, birds were most reactive to the Yanayacu duet, although the difference was not significant. Differences in the distances from the playback speaker, however, were found to be significant. In the second experiment, the birds were most reactive to the female solos, with the difference between reaction to the female solos and the duet from the Mindo region being significant. Overall, there is a trend showing that Grey-breasted Wood Wrens from this region are most reactive to duets from Yanayacu as well as female solos, which does not support completely the first prediction, but does support the second.


Poultry or Avian Science


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