Relationships between variations in bird song rhythmic patterns and the deciduous and coniferous forest habitats of northern New England

Vincent, Robert
Tom Wessels, MA
Department of Environmental Studies
Bird songs were analyzed in northeast deciduous and coniferous habitats. Deciduous dwelling species favored lower frequency ranges and songs with slower modulations and richer tonal qualities. While coniferous dwelling species favored slightly higher frequencies and faster modulations, and less tonality in their rhythmic patterns. Trill rates were not found in higher frequencies of deciduous species, indicating an adaptation towards reducing the affects of reverberations in deciduous forests. Sound windows were found to exist at 1.5 meters above the ground surface in both habitats, which is slightly higher than the norm. The sound windows of this study support the theory that deciduous dwelling species prefer lower frequencies within the window, while coniferous dwelling species prefer slightly higher frequencies within the sound window. The absence of vegetation quantification along the transects restrict the results of this study to these specific individual study sites sampled.

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