Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Long-term recognition of father's song by female zebra finches

Abstract

RECENTLY, attention has been directed at the question of how sexual imprinting, or the development of mating preferences, affects assortative mating within polymorphic species1–3 and regulates the extent of inbreeding and outbreeding in a population4–6. It may be selectively advantageous for a young organism to learn individual characteristics of parents and/or siblings to avoid subsequent mating with kin as well as to avoid hybridisation by not mating with individuals that differ greatly from rearing partners4–6. I report here that adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) can recognise the song of their own father after a period of early exposure followed by more than 2 months of separation while attaining sexual maturity.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Cooke, F., Mirsky, P. J. & Seiger, M. B. Can. J. Zool. 50, 529–536 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Cooke, F., Finney, G. H. & Rockwell, R. F. Behav. Genet. 6, 127–140 (1976).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Cooke, F. Z. Tierpsychol. 46, 344–358 (1978).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bateson, P. Nature 273, 659–660 (1978).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Gilder, P. M. & Slater, P. J. B. Nature 274, 364–365 (1978).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bateson, P. P. G. in Biological Determinants of Sexual Behaviour (ed. Hutchison, J. B.) 29–53 (Wiley, New York, 1978); Anim. Behav. (in the press).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Immelmann, K. Australian Finches, 143 (Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1965).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Sossinka, R. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 67, 344–347 (1974).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Immelmann, K. in Bird Vocalizations (ed. Hinde, R. A.) 61–74 (Cambridge University Press, London, 1969).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Price, P. H. J. comp. physiol. Psychol. 93, 260–277 (1979).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Miller, D. B. Anim. Behav. 27, 376–380 (1979).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Gottlieb, G. Development of Species Identification in Birds, 1–176 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1971).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Heaton, M. B., Miller, D. B. & Goodwin, D. G. Devl Psychobiol. 11, 13–21 (1978).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Evans, R. M. Can. J. Zool. 51, 759–770 (1973).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Heinz, G. Anim. Behav. 21, 1–9 (1973).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. King, A. P. & West, M. J. Science 195, 1002–1004 (1977).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Gottlieb, G. Psychol. Bull. 79, 362–372 (1973).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Vidal, J. M. Behaviour 52, 57–83 (1975).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

MILLER, D. Long-term recognition of father's song by female zebra finches. Nature 280, 389–391 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1038/280389a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/280389a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing