In many oscine passerines males’ songs, the repertoire size increases with age. At the same time it often remains unknown when and where males learn new songs. To infer the Whinchat Saxicola rubetra song learning strategy, we described and catalogued song-type repertoire, revealed age differences and examined song sharing strategies among neighbouring and distant males. We recorded song vocalizations of 40 males in a limited (104 ha) study plot during four years. Whinchats produce short and discrete songs with clear intersong pauses. In total 45 song types were allocated, the individual repertoire size averaged 23.5 ± 7.6 song types (range 9–34 song types). The males’ age significantly influenced the song-type repertoire size. The second calendar year (first breeding) males had a lower repertoire size than the older males. The majority of song types were shared by less than half of males in our sample. The Jaccard similarity indexes varied from 0.5 to 0.7. We could not find a relationship between males’ song sharing and geographic distances between their nests. We assume that Whinchat males learned new songs in the local population before territory establishment.
Bird song, Whinchat, Saxicola rubetra, repertoire size, song-type sharing, age-related song changes