Vocal tract filtering and the "coo" of doves

Neville H. Fletcher, Tobias Riede, Gabriël J.L. Beckers, Roderick A. Suthers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) produce a "coo" vocalization that is essentially a pure-tone sound at a frequency of about 600 Hz and with a duration of about 1.5 s. While making this vocalization, the dove inflates the upper part of its esophagus to form a thin-walled sac structure that radiates sound to the surroundings. It is a reasonable assumption that the combined influence of the trachea, glottis and inflated upper esophagus acts as an effective band-pass filter to eliminate higher harmonics generated by the vibrating syringeal valve. Calculations reported here indicate that this is indeed the case. The tracheal tube, terminated by a glottal constriction, is the initial resonant structure, and subsequent resonant filtering takes place through the action of the inflated esophageal sac. The inflated esophagus proves to be a more efficient sound radiating mechanism than an open beak. The action of this sac is only moderately affected by the degree of inflation, although an uninflated esophagus is inactive as a sound radiator. These conclusions are supported by measurements and observations that have been reported in a companion paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3750-3756
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Vocal tract filtering and the "coo" of doves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this