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Journal Articles Behavioural Processes Year : 2019

Comparative analysis of hissing calls in five tit species

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Nest predation often leads to breeding failure, and is an important selective pressure of natural selection that affects nest defense behavior in birds. Many tit species give a hissing call for nest defense, but there are few studies on interspecific variation in hissing calls and whether these are related to nest predation and nesting success. In this study, we compared the hissing calls of five tit species including cinereous tit (Parus cinereus), marsh tit (Poecile palustris), varied tit (Sittiparus varius), willow tit (Poecile montanus), and coal tit (Periparus ater) in Saihanba National Forest Park in Hebei and Xianrendong National Nature Reserve in Liaoning. In Saihanba of Hebei, the proportion of individuals giving a hissing call and nest predation were similar among three tit species (cinereous, varied, and marsh tits). In Xianrendong of Liaoning, the proportion of cinereous, varied, and marsh tit individuals giving a hissing call differed significantly but nest predation did not. Cinereous and varied tits showed no differences in clutch size, date of the first egg, nest predation and nesting success between individuals that gave and those that did not give a hissing call. These results indicated that for tit species that breed in nest boxes distributed within the same area, there is interspecific variation in hissing calls, but these are not significantly correlated with nest predation risk.
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Dates and versions

hal-03024634 , version 1 (25-11-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-03024634 , version 1


Li Zhang, Jianping Liu, Zezhong Gao, Lei Zhang, Dongmei Wan, et al.. Comparative analysis of hissing calls in five tit species. Behavioural Processes, 2019. ⟨hal-03024634⟩


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