Mechanisms of song production in the Australian magpie

Roderick Suthers, J. Martin Wild, Gisela Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) are notable for their vocal prowess. We investigated the syringeal and respiratory dynamics of vocalization by two 6-month-old males, whose songs had a number of adult features. There was no strong lateral syringeal dominance and unilateral phonation was most often achieved by closing the syringeal valve on the contralateral side of the syrinx. Unlike other songbirds studied, magpies sometimes used an alternative syringeal motor pattern during unilateral phonation in which both sides of the syrinx are partially adducted and open to airflow. Also, in contrast to most other songbirds, the higher fundamental frequency during two-voice syllables was usually generated on the left side of the syrinx. Amplitude modulation, a prominent feature of magpie song, was produced by linear or nonlinear interactions between different frequencies which may originate either on opposite sides of the syrinx or on the same side. Pulse tones, similar to vocal fry in human speech, were present in some calls. Unlike small songbirds, the fundamental of the modal frequency can be as low as that of the pulse tone, suggesting that large birds may have evolved pulse tones to increase acoustic diversity, rather than decrease the fundamental frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Volume197
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Fingerprint

songbird
syringes
Syringes
Music
song
animal communication
Songbirds
songbirds
Phonation
vocalization
airflow
valves (equipment)
acoustics
fish fry
air flow
Acoustics
bird
Birds
birds

Keywords

  • Birdsong
  • Lateralization
  • Nonlinear
  • Pulse tone
  • Syrinx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Mechanisms of song production in the Australian magpie. / Suthers, Roderick; Wild, J. Martin; Kaplan, Gisela.

In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A, Vol. 197, No. 1, 2011, p. 45-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Suthers, Roderick ; Wild, J. Martin ; Kaplan, Gisela. / Mechanisms of song production in the Australian magpie. In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 2011 ; Vol. 197, No. 1. pp. 45-59.
@article{bc987ebbbc0b4839b4117d9d86a468a3,
title = "Mechanisms of song production in the Australian magpie",
abstract = "Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) are notable for their vocal prowess. We investigated the syringeal and respiratory dynamics of vocalization by two 6-month-old males, whose songs had a number of adult features. There was no strong lateral syringeal dominance and unilateral phonation was most often achieved by closing the syringeal valve on the contralateral side of the syrinx. Unlike other songbirds studied, magpies sometimes used an alternative syringeal motor pattern during unilateral phonation in which both sides of the syrinx are partially adducted and open to airflow. Also, in contrast to most other songbirds, the higher fundamental frequency during two-voice syllables was usually generated on the left side of the syrinx. Amplitude modulation, a prominent feature of magpie song, was produced by linear or nonlinear interactions between different frequencies which may originate either on opposite sides of the syrinx or on the same side. Pulse tones, similar to vocal fry in human speech, were present in some calls. Unlike small songbirds, the fundamental of the modal frequency can be as low as that of the pulse tone, suggesting that large birds may have evolved pulse tones to increase acoustic diversity, rather than decrease the fundamental frequency.",
keywords = "Birdsong, Lateralization, Nonlinear, Pulse tone, Syrinx",
author = "Roderick Suthers and Wild, {J. Martin} and Gisela Kaplan",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1007/s00359-010-0585-6",
language = "English",
volume = "197",
pages = "45--59",
journal = "Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology",
issn = "0340-7594",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mechanisms of song production in the Australian magpie

AU - Suthers, Roderick

AU - Wild, J. Martin

AU - Kaplan, Gisela

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) are notable for their vocal prowess. We investigated the syringeal and respiratory dynamics of vocalization by two 6-month-old males, whose songs had a number of adult features. There was no strong lateral syringeal dominance and unilateral phonation was most often achieved by closing the syringeal valve on the contralateral side of the syrinx. Unlike other songbirds studied, magpies sometimes used an alternative syringeal motor pattern during unilateral phonation in which both sides of the syrinx are partially adducted and open to airflow. Also, in contrast to most other songbirds, the higher fundamental frequency during two-voice syllables was usually generated on the left side of the syrinx. Amplitude modulation, a prominent feature of magpie song, was produced by linear or nonlinear interactions between different frequencies which may originate either on opposite sides of the syrinx or on the same side. Pulse tones, similar to vocal fry in human speech, were present in some calls. Unlike small songbirds, the fundamental of the modal frequency can be as low as that of the pulse tone, suggesting that large birds may have evolved pulse tones to increase acoustic diversity, rather than decrease the fundamental frequency.

AB - Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) are notable for their vocal prowess. We investigated the syringeal and respiratory dynamics of vocalization by two 6-month-old males, whose songs had a number of adult features. There was no strong lateral syringeal dominance and unilateral phonation was most often achieved by closing the syringeal valve on the contralateral side of the syrinx. Unlike other songbirds studied, magpies sometimes used an alternative syringeal motor pattern during unilateral phonation in which both sides of the syrinx are partially adducted and open to airflow. Also, in contrast to most other songbirds, the higher fundamental frequency during two-voice syllables was usually generated on the left side of the syrinx. Amplitude modulation, a prominent feature of magpie song, was produced by linear or nonlinear interactions between different frequencies which may originate either on opposite sides of the syrinx or on the same side. Pulse tones, similar to vocal fry in human speech, were present in some calls. Unlike small songbirds, the fundamental of the modal frequency can be as low as that of the pulse tone, suggesting that large birds may have evolved pulse tones to increase acoustic diversity, rather than decrease the fundamental frequency.

KW - Birdsong

KW - Lateralization

KW - Nonlinear

KW - Pulse tone

KW - Syrinx

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78650791879&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=78650791879&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00359-010-0585-6

DO - 10.1007/s00359-010-0585-6

M3 - Article

VL - 197

SP - 45

EP - 59

JO - Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology

JF - Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology

SN - 0340-7594

IS - 1

ER -