Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Fred J. Alsop III

Committee Members

John H. Kalbfleisch, Thomas F. Laughlin


Carolina Wrens, Thryothorus ludovicianus, are permanent residents throughout their range. They form pair bonds at a young age, maintain these bonds for multiple years, and defend feeding/breeding territories year round. Male Carolina Wrens use songs in territorial defense and have been shown to countersing regularly to both neighbors and intruders. They use various song characteristics to determine the location of another bird and whether its territory has been invaded.

Wrens often approach playbacks silently in apparent searching behavior. In some cases, birds will investigate the playback but fail to countersing. I wanted to determine whether or not wrens would respond more strongly during playbacks with a decoy. In addition, the experiment was conducted during breeding and nonbreeding periods to compare responses across seasons. The findings show that wrens respond more aggressively to playbacks with a decoy and to playbacks conducted during the breeding season.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Ornithology Commons