Sexual signals play an important role in mate attraction. In this study, we explore male vocal behavior and female mate attraction in long-tailed manakins, tropical lekking birds where males perform cooperative displays to attract females, and males provide only gametes to choosy females. We monitored female visitation at 37 sites using two techniques: video recordings and automated radiotelemetry. Simultaneously, we used digital recorders to sample male vocal behavior, quantifying vocal output as well as frequency matching and temporal synchrony in male–male duets. We compared male vocal performance to the rate at which females visited male display sites. Video data revealed that both male vocal output and the temporal synchrony of male–male duets were positively related to female visitation, matching our expectations. Telemetry data, in contrast, revealed no such relationship. Our results suggest that telemetry data may yield biased estimates of patterns of female choice, because the tracked females may not adequately represent the pool of potential female visitors to leks. We also demonstrate that male vocal behavior and female visitation vary, in concert, with time of day, peaking in the early morning, with a pronounced drop in the mid-day heat. We compare these results with those of another study, of the same species, in a montane environment with cooler daytime temperatures.
Maynard, Dugan F.; Ward, Kara-Anne A.; Doucet, Stéphanie M.; and Mennill, Daniel J., "Telemetric and video assessment of female response to male vocal performance in a lek-mating manakin" (2015). Behavioral Ecology, 26, 1, 65-74.
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