An analysis of the songs of male and female European robins adds to growing evidence that both sexes of songbirds are talented singers
Female European robins (Erithacus rubecula) sing throughout autumn and winter – and their songs are just as physically and mentally challenging as those of males.
Outside the breeding season, when food and hiding places are scarce, both sexes sing equally difficult songs to mark the limits of their individual territories. The finding discredits the popular belief that only male songbirds sing, as well as any assumptions that they would sing better than females, says Nicole Geberzahn at the University of Paris Nanterre in France.
“One of the motivations behind …