Individual acoustic differences in female black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) fee-bee 1 songs

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  • In songbirds, song has traditionally been considered a vocalization mainly produced by males. 11 However, recent research suggests that both sexes produce song. While the function and 12 structure of male black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) fee-bee song have been well-13 studied, research on female song is comparatively limited. Past discrimination and playback 14 studies have shown that male black-capped chickadees can discriminate between individual 15 males via their fee-bee songs. Recently, we have shown that male and female black-capped 16 chickadees can identify individual females via their fee-bee song even when presented with only 17 the bee position of the song. Our results using discriminant function analyses (DFA) support that 18 female songs are individually distinctive. We found that songs could be correctly classified to the 19 individual (81%) and season (97%) based on several acoustic features including but not limited 20 to bee-note duration and fee-note peak frequency. In addition, an artificial neural network (ANN) 21 was trained to identify individuals based on the selected DFA acoustic features and was able to 22 achieve 90% accuracy by individual and 93% by season. While this study provides a quantitative 23 description of the acoustic structure of female song, the perception and function of female song 24 in this species requires further investigation.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International