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Individual variation in song of Black-throated Divers (Gavia arctica)


  • Pekka J. Lehtonen
  • Jyrki Lappalainen University of Helsinki


Black-throated Diver, individual identification, yodel, song


The intention of the study was to determine whether male Black-throated Divers (Gavia arctica) can be distinguished individually by their vocalization. The songs of 19 male Black-throated Divers (BTDs) were recorded in their territories in the same lake area in 2018–2021 in Finland. The songs were recorded in one year in nine territories and in 2–4 consecutive years in ten territories. The song consists of one introductory phrase and one or more repeat phrases. Seventeen variables were measured from the spectrograms of the introductory phrase and the first repeat phrase. These variables included the frequencies and duration of different parts of the spectrogram. The discriminant analyses were used to examine the recognition of individual BTDs based on the spectral analysis of the male yodels (n = 297) in different territories (n = 19). The discriminant analysis showed that when using 14 of the variables of the yodels, the discriminant analysis classified the yodels to correct territories at a rate of almost 98% based on the cross-validation of all data. This suggests that the same individuals defend their territory from year to year.

Research articles




How to Cite

Lehtonen, P., & Lappalainen, J. (2022). Individual variation in song of Black-throated Divers (Gavia arctica). Ornis Fennica, 00–00.