A rousing chorus gets zebra finches in the mood

Hearing songs encourages zebra finches to breed

source: New Scientist vol 185 no 2488
February 26 2005 p20

A team led by Joseph Waas, now at Waikato University, New Zealand, has discovered that male zebra finches are encouraged to sing by hearing recorded songs of other zebra finches, and females' clutches of eggs were larger than if they were not played songs. Females also laid clutches earlier if they heard recordings of unfamiliar males. This may be because the females are seeking to catch up with breeding as they would in a zebra finch colony. Breeding in a large group can give protection against predators. This finding could help with encouraging breeding of some rarer species of birds, which may also be encouraged by recorded songs.