Note types and coding in parid vocalizations: the chick-a-dee call of the boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus)

Author
Moscicki, Michele
Hoeschele, M.
Bloomfield, L. L.
Modanu, M.
Charrier, I.
Sturdy, C. B.
Faculty Advisor
Date
2011
Keywords
microphones , spectrograms , acoustics , geographic location , phonology , bioacoustics of birds , signal processing , animal communication , vocalization , statistical analysis
Abstract (summary)
An important first step in characterizing a vocalization is to classify, describe, and measure the elements of that vocalization. Here, this methodology is employed to study the chick-a-dee call of the boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus). The note types (A, B, C, D, and Dh) in a sample of boreal chickadee calls are identified and described, spectral and temporal features of each note type are analyzed, and production phenomena in each note type are identified and quantified. Acoustic variability is compared across note types and individuals to determine potential features used for note-type and individual discrimination. Frequency measures appear to be the most useful features for identifying note types and individuals, though total duration may also be useful. Call syntax reveals that boreal chick-a-dee calls follow a general rule of note-type order, namely A-B-C-Dh-D, and that any note type in this sequence may be repeated or omitted. This work provides a thorough description of the boreal chickadee chick-a-dee call and will serve as a foundation for future studies aimed at elucidating this call’s functional significance within this species, as well as for studies comparing chick-a-dee calls across Poecile species.
Publication Information
Moscicki, M.K., Hoeschele, M., Bloomfield, L.L., Modanu, M., Charrier, I. & Sturdy, C.B. (2011). Note types and coding in parid vocalizations: the chick-a-dee call of the boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 129(5), 3327-3340.
DOI
Notes
Item Type
Article
Language
English
Rights
All Rights Reserved