Brewer's Sparrows (Spizella breweri) have two song types—a "short" song that has 1 to 3 trill types and a "long" song that has 5 to 10 or more trill types. I describe the short song and examine patterns of individual and geographic song variation from 15 sites on the Snake River Plain in southern Idaho. Territorial males sang the short song regularly during the breeding season. Two-trill song types comprised 72.9% of all song types, with 3-trill types (18.8%) and 1-trill types (8.2%) less frequent. Over 90% of the males sang their song type(s) essentially without variation. Many trill types appeared most often in only 1 of 3 possible song positions, i.e., 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trill. Trill types that occurred in different song positions differed in syllables per second, trill and syllable duration, and frequency variables. First trill types were more variable than 2nd or 3rd trill types. There was no evidence that birds at sites closer together shared more trill types or pairs of trill types than those farther apart. There was no tendency for territorial neighbors to sing similar song types. Brewer's Sparrows' small territories, dense populations, and apparently high rate of annual turnover may mediate against the evolution of song sharing or vocal dialects.
Rich, Terrell D.
"The short song of Brewer's Sparrow: individual and geographic variation in southern Idaho,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 62
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol62/iss3/4