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Gray-breasted Wood-Wrens sing a duet. Each sings a different phrase, yet the phrases are so closely linked, it sounds like one song. Such singing is called antiphonal song. The pairs use song to stake out and hold breeding territories. Dueting is most typical of birds that live in dense habitats; it no doubt helps them locate each other in deep cover.
The Wood-Wren—A Tropical Duet
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
We’re about to hear the song of the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren in the mountains of southern Mexico. The song is being sung not by a single bird, but a mated pair. [Gray-breasted Wood-Wren song]
The two wrens are singing a duet. Each sings a different phrase, but the phrases are so closely linked, we hear it as one song. Such close duet-singing in birds is called antiphonal song. [Gray-breasted Wood-Wren song]
The pairs use song to stake out and hold breeding territories. Duetting is most typical of birds – including many tropical wrens – that live in dense habitats. We think the close interplay of song reinforces pair bonds in birds that frequently lose sight of each other.
Let’s slow down the song to one-quarter speed. It will be easier to hear two separate voices. [Gray-breasted Wood-Wren duet at ¼ time)]
Bird songs featured on BirdNote come from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I’m Michael Stein.
Support for BirdNote comes from the Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy, with online courses that share the wonder and joy of birds. More at All About Birds dot org.
Song of the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by T.A. Parker III. ¼-speed manipulation by G. Vyn.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org March 2018 / 2021 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# 030507GBWWKPLU GBWW-01b