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Journal Articles Behavioural Processes Year : 2020

Comparative analysis of hissing calls in five tit species


Nest predation often leads to breeding failure and is an important component of natural selection that affects the evolution of nest defense behavior in birds. Many tit species give a hissing call as nest defense, but there are few studies of 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 tits (Parus cinereus), marsh tits (Poecile palustris), varied tits (Sittiparus varius), willow tits (Poecile montanus), and coal tits (Periparus ater) in Saihanba National Forest Park in Hebei and Xianrendong National Nature Reserve in Liaoning. In Saihanba of Hebei, the proportion of cinereous, willow, and coal tit individuals giving a hissing call differed significantly but the rate of nest predation was similar. It was also true for the three tit species (cinereous, varied, and marsh tits) in Xianrendong of Liaoning. 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 indicate that for tit species that breed in nest boxes distributed within the same area, there is interspecific variation in hissing calls but this variation is not significantly correlated with nest predation risk.
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Dates and versions

hal-03024842 , version 1 (25-11-2020)
hal-03024842 , version 2 (26-11-2020)



Li Zhang, Jianping Liu, Zezhong Gao, Lei Zhang, Dongmei Wan, et al.. Comparative analysis of hissing calls in five tit species. Behavioural Processes, 2020, 171, pp.104029. ⟨10.1016/j.beproc.2019.104029⟩. ⟨hal-03024842v2⟩
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