A Study of Bird Song. By Edward A. Armstrong. Oxford University Press, London, 1963. x i v + 3 3 5 pages; 17 plates; 43 figures and 14 tables. 45 s. Far more work has been done on the vocal behaviour of birds than of all other animals combined. Much of it is of excellent quality and it is illuminating for investigators of other groups to refer to bird studies in the interpretation of their results. Until now this has been difficult for anyone unfamiliar with the copious and widely scattered publications of ornithology. E. A. Armstrong's new book, with its exhaustive review of the English and German literature, thus fulfils a need felt by general zoologists and ornithologists alike. Within the framework of a 'natural history of bird songs and calls' the author contrives to cover all the major aspects of the subject, the only obvious lack being a review of the physical methods of sound analysis which have provided many of the data he discusses, and which can be less easy to interpret than is sometimes assumed. He begins with a discussion of the size of the vocal repertoire, hampered somewhat by variation in the judgement of different investigators about whether sounds which grade into each other should be labelled as one call or divided into several. Nevertheless, some realistic comparisons are made, Blackbirds for example having a relatively small repertoire (9 sound signals, with the song representing only one of these) and Chaffinches a larger one (21
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