We provide the first detailed analysis of the vocal behavior of Pacific coast Plain Wrens (Thryothorus modestus modestus). Male Plain Wrens sing two categories of song phrase; one phrase is given as a solo song or duet introduction (I-phrases), while the other is sung primarily during duets (M-phrases). Females sing only one category of song phrase, usually during duets (F-phrases). Both sexes have repertoires of their respective song categories. Plain Wren duets show extreme temporal coordination: duets typically begin with male I-phrases, which are followed by the rapid alternation of female F-phrases and male M-phrases. These patterns are congruent with the solo and duet singing behavior of a sister taxon to the Plain Wren, the Canebrake Wren (Thryothorus modestus zeledoni). Our analyses of Plain Wren songs and duets reveal pronounced differences between males and females and contribute to our understanding of the complex duetting behavior of Thryothorus wrens. © The Cooper Ornithological Society 2007.
Cuthbert, Jessica L. and Mennill, Daniel J., "The duetting behavior of pacific coast Plain Wrens" (2007). Condor, 109, 3, 686-692.