Postembryonic production of hair cells, the highly specialized receptors for hearing, balance and motion detection, occurs in a precisely controlled manner in select species, including avians. Notch1, Delta1 and Serrate1 mediate cell specification in several tissues and species. We examined expression of the chicken homologs of these genes in the normal and drug-damaged chick inner ear to determine if signaling through this pathway changes during hair cell regeneration. In untreated post-hatch chicks, Delta1 mRNA is abundant in a subpopulation of cells in the utricle, which undergoes continual postembryonic hair cell production, but it is absent from all cells in the basilar papilla, which is mitotically quiescent. By 3 days after drug-induced hair cell injury, Delta1 expression is highly upregulated in areas of cell proliferation in both the utricle and basilar papilla. Delta1 mRNA levels are elevated in progenitor cells during DNA synthesis and/or gap 2 phases of the cell cycle and expression is maintained in both daughter cells immediately after mitosis. Delta1 expression remains upregulated in cells that differentiate into hair cells and is downregulated in cells that do not acquire the hair cell fate. Delta1 mRNA levels return to normal by 10 days after hair cell injury. Serrate1 is expressed in both hair cells and support cells in the utricle and basilar papilla, and its expression does not change during the course of drug-induced hair cell regeneration. In contrast, Notch1 expression, which is limited to support cells in the quiescent epithelium, is increased in post-M-phase cell pairs during hair cell regeneration. This study provides initial evidence that Delta-Notch signaling may be involved in maintaining the correct cell types and patterns during postembryonic replacement of sensory epithelial cells in the chick inner ear.