Reverberlocation in chickadees?
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Chickadee songs provide conspecifics with information about the locations of singers. Song amplitude, frequency, and reverberation all vary with distance, and it is thought that chickadees use such cues to estimate distance. The current study examined transmission of chickadee songs in an open field to assess whether other cues such as relative changes in inter-note timing or relative differences in spectral energy might also provide useful information about a singer's location. Surprisingly, the difference between direct signal energy and reverberant spectral energy provided clear indications of how far a song had traveled. Preliminary analyses suggest that this cue may be robust to variations in source level, note duration, note frequency, and transmission loss. If chickadees use this cue to judge auditory distance, then this may explain why they maintain specific spectral ratios between the notes within their songs. Specifically, the spectral spacing of notes within songs appears to be directly related to chickadee auditory filter bandwidth. We describe ranging of a singing chickadee based on the spectral profile of its songs as reverberlocation (construed as an instance of passive echolocation) because it involves comparisons between a direct signal and echoes of a signal.
Mercado , E , Wisniewski , M , Guillette , L , McIntosh , B & Sturdy , C 2013 , Reverberlocation in chickadees? in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics . vol. 19 , Acoustical Society of America , Melville, NY , The 21st International Congress on Acoustics , Montreal , Canada , 2-7 July . DOI: 10.1121/1.4799208conference
Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
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