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1 December 2010 Note Types and Coding in Parid Vocalizations: The chick-a-dee Call of the Mexican Chickadee Poecile sclateri
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Abstract

To understand the communicative functions of any vocalization it is important to describe and classify the elements of that vocalization. Mexican Chickadees produce a namesake chick-a-dee call. Here, the note types (A, C, D, and Dh) from a sample of Mexican Chickadee chick-a-dee calls are identified, described, and classified. Frequency and temporal features of each note type are measured and compared to determine which features may be useful for note-type discrimination. Frequency measures, particularly peak frequency, appear to be most useful for discriminating among note types. Call syntax is analyzed to determine rules for note-type production. Mexican Chickadees produce the notes within their chick-a-dee calls in a consistent order: A → C → Dh → D with the potential for any note type to be repeated or omitted within this sequence. Similar to species in the brown-headed chickadee clade, B notes were not found in the calls of Mexican chickadees, suggesting this species may belong to the brown-headed clade. This work describes the chick-a-dee call of Mexican Chickadees and provides a foundation for future work aimed at understanding the communicative significance of this call within this species, as well as for comparative work on the chick-a-dee call among chickadee species.

Michele K. Moscicki, Marisa Hoeschele, and Christopher B. Sturdy "Note Types and Coding in Parid Vocalizations: The chick-a-dee Call of the Mexican Chickadee Poecile sclateri," Acta Ornithologica 45(2), 147-160, (1 December 2010). https://doi.org/10.3161/000164510X551282
Received: 1 June 2010; Accepted: 1 October 2010; Published: 1 December 2010
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