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Data from: Parental influence on begging call structure in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): evidence of early vocal plasticity

Citation

Villain, Avelyne S.; Boucaud, Ingrid C. A.; Bouchut, Colette; Vignal, Clementine (2015), Data from: Parental influence on begging call structure in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): evidence of early vocal plasticity, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9pn24

Abstract

Begging calls are signals of need used by young birds to elicit care from adults. Different theoretical frameworks have been proposed to understand this parent–offspring communication. But relationships between parental response and begging intensity, or between begging characteristics and proxies of a young’s need remain puzzling. Few studies have considered the adjustment of nestling begging features to previous experience as a possible explanation of these discrepancies. In this study, we tested the effect of a heterospecific rearing environment on individual developmental trajectories of the acoustic structure of nestling begging calls. Fifty-two zebra finch chicks were fostered either to Bengalese finch or to zebra finch parents, and begging calls were recorded at several stages of nestling development. Acoustic analyses revealed that the development of the spectral features of the begging calls differed between experimental conditions: chicks reared by Bengalese finches produced higher pitched and less broadband begging calls than chicks reared by conspecific parents. Differences were stronger in males than females and were not explained by differences in growth rate. We conclude that nestling begging calls can be plastic in response to social interactions with parents.

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