Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Karl S. Berg

Second Advisor

Dr. Julie A. Mustard

Third Advisor

Dr. Cheryl Harrison


Bird behavioral interaction systems show a preference for temporal precision. This preference is exemplified in the way many species avoid masking of vocal signals. Antiphonal duetting in songbirds suggest that overlapping notes are a sign of poor temporal coordination which can signify a weak pairbond, a possible cue for conspecifics seeking to usurp territories or mates. However, parrots (Psittacidae) are accomplished yet understudied duetters in nature. I recorded antiphonal duets produced by a wild population of red-crowned parrots (Amazona viridigenalis) in Brownsville, Texas. Temporal and acoustic variation of signals was assessed within and across a sample of mated pairs. Results suggest element overlap is prevalent in red-crowned parrot duets, even in pairs which were observed to have successfully raised offspring. This may be an indication that partially overlapping notes in parrot duets is not indicative of a weak pairbond or that urban parrot populations are under different selective pressures.


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