Bird song functions in mate choice and species recognition, and hence variation in song can contribute to divergence and reproductive isolation. We used playback experiments to examine male response to conspecific song in Darwin's small tree finch. Song is a reliable signal of bill morphology in this species, and individuals displayed stronger response to songs of males with similar bill size. These findings suggest that, in the context of territorial defence, males discriminate between intruders on the basis of song characteristics. Given that male response to song may be examined as a proxy for female response, this study also implies that females could discriminate between males on the basis of song. The findings suggest that: (1) perceived threat of intruders is related to reproductive competition and not fighting assessment, and (2) geographical isolation is not required for biologically meaningful song variation in Darwin's finches.