Song acquisition in photosensitive and photorefractory male European starlings

Jörg Böhner, Martha Leah Chaiken, Gregory F. Ball, Peter Marler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We tested the ability of 1-year-old European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to acquire songs while in different physiological states. Photorefractory males, with low testosterone levels, learned songs as completely and as accurately as photosensitive males in full reproductive condition. This indicates that song acquisition in 1-year-old males does not depend on high levels of androgens. The ability to learn songs during the nonbreeding season may reflect the high song output of potential tutors through most of the year, including the photorefractory period, and may facilitate increases in song repertoire size in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-594
Number of pages13
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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