THE cellular localization of AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunits was examined in the pigeon inner ear using subunit specific polyclonal antibodies (GluR1–4). In the auditory ganglion cell bodies immunoreactivity for the subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4, but not for GluR1 was detected. The hair cells showed diffuse immunoreactivity for GluR4. Additionally, immunostaining for the subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 was present below the hair cells. These results indicate that the AMPA type glutamate receptors play a role in neurotransmission at the hair cell afferent synapse in the avian auditory system.