Early Experience Determines Song Dialect Responsiveness of Female Sparrows

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Science  13 Nov 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4522, pp. 819-821
DOI: 10.1126/science.214.4522.819


In a laboratory experiment, female white-crowned sparrows responded almost exclusively to male songs taken from their home dialect region and usually not to songs taken from an alien dialect region. Song dialect populations may represent a level of genetic population structure below that of the subspecies and may play an important role in songbird evolution.