The measurement of hierarchy of the canary Serinus canaria in the laboratory [abstract]

L. Luisanti Fitri, I. Béme and M. Kreutzer (1997). The measurement of hierarchy of the canary Serinus canaria in the laboratory [abstract]. Bioacoustics, Volume 8 (3-4): 269 -270

Recently, it has been demonstrated that female canaries Serinus canaria elicit high levels of sexual display to a special song phrase of a male full song This song phrase is called "phrase A''. However, this special song phrase does not commonly exist in the repertoires of male canaries. This preferential response of female canaries to song "phrase A'' might be considered as one of the cues to indicate male quality. We made a test to find an adequate method of measuring hierarchy within a mixed flock of ten individually marked males. Among these flock members only five males have been known to have this song "phrase A'' within their repertoires. Other phenotypic characters that correlate to male quality such as body weight, wing length and tarsus length were also examined in the test. The role of hierarchy was assessed by dyadic interaction among flock members in gaining access to resources provided inside the aviary. These resources were food and a bathtub box, which were at different height levels. We found that interaction among flockmates were manifest differently at the feeder and the bathtub. Phenotypic appearances tended to have positive correlations with the higher ranking birds at the feeder. More information is needed to get the evidence that song "phrase A'' in relation to male quality may explain the formation of hierarchy in the canary.