Data from: Singing in the moonlight: dawn song performance of a diurnal bird varies with lunar phase

  • Jenny E York (University of Exeter) (Contributor)
  • Andrew J Young (University of Exeter) (Contributor)
  • Andrew N Radford (Contributor)



It is well established that the lunar cycle can affect the behaviour of nocturnal animals, but its potential to have a similar influence on diurnal species has received less research attention. Here we demonstrate that the dawn song of a cooperative songbird, the white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali), varies with moon phase. When the moon was above the horizon at dawn, males began singing on average 10 minutes earlier if there was a full moon compared to a new moon, resulting in a 67% mean increase in performance period and greater total song output. The lack of a difference between full and new moon dawns when the moon was below the horizon suggests that the observed effects were driven by light intensity, rather than other factors associated with moon phase. Effects of the lunar cycle on twilight signalling behaviour have implications for both pure and applied animal communication research.,York et al_Data fileData collected from the field and location-specific values obtained from,
Date made available29 Jan 2014

Cite this