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School of Environment and Natural Resources


SENR Honors Thesis Presentation: Territorial Response in Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)

Apr 15, 2013, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

An SENR Honors Thesis presentation will be held Monday, Apr. 15, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. in 370 Kottman Hall. Sarah Focht will present Territorial Response in Carollina Chickadee (Poecile carollinensis) to Playback of Carolina Chickadee and Blackcapped Chickadee (P. atricapillus) Song.

Two morphologically similar sister species, Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) and black-capped chickadee (P. atricapillus), distinguished primarily by song, have distinct geographic ranges except for a thin band of overlap. I used a play-back experiment to determine if Carolina chickadees perceive black-capped chickadees as conspecific or heterospecific by investigating differences in territorial responses to song playback in Columbus, Ohio, just south of the hybrid zone.  I hypothesized that Carolina chickadees would show a significant difference in territorial response to conspecific song than to black-capped chickadee song.  Seven Carolina chickadees were presented with both a Carolina and black-capped chickadee song. I recorded the number of songs sung by territorial males during pre-playback, playback, and post-playback and the minimum approach distance to the speaker. The results showed that in general the Carolina chickadees responded more aggressively to Carolina song, however the differences did not quite reach significance.