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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2003 Feb 1;130(2):142-7.

Season-related changes in circulating androgen, brain aromatase, and perch-calling in male ring doves.

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  • 1Max-Planck Research Centre for Ornithology, 82346 Andechs, Germany.


The perch-call of ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) is related to territorial defence and mate attraction. Perch-calls are sexually dimorphic and individually different in structure. The expression of perch-call is androgen-dependent and is controlled by the action of testosterone on the preoptic-hypothalamic areas. However, it is not known whether the acoustic features of the call vary with the reproductive condition. We studied plasma androgen levels, brain steroid metabolism, and perch-calling of male ring doves kept in winter-like (low temperature, short days) or spring-like (mild temperature, long day) conditions. Circulating levels of androgen were higher in males kept on spring-like condition. Spring males spent more time in perch-calling than winter males. However, a detailed analysis of the call structure revealed no difference for any time or frequency parameter between groups. This work shows that in ring doves season-dependent variations in the circulating levels of androgen are correlated with differences in the amount of time males spend in perch-calling. In addition, the study suggests that in adult males the acoustic structure of the perch-calls is not influenced by season-related changes in androgen levels.

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