Studying the silent side of birdsong
CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Vairão 4485-661, Portugal
BMC Biology 2014, 12:62 doi:10.1186/s12915-014-0062-8Published: 6 August 2014
The quality of complex communication signals, such as birdsong, is difficult to assess and compare across individuals or species. A new study on skylark song avoids the problem of signal complexity by assessing motor performance during the silent gaps of songs. This provides a metric of song quality applicable to species with very diverse songs, which facilitates novel types of analyses and comparisons in avian bioacoustics.