Tracking the social lives of great tits: behavioural consistency in a social context

L. Snijders, E.P. van Rooij, J. Burt, K. van Oers, M. Naguib

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

Behavioural consistency makes individuals predictable and so allows other individuals to socially respond to this. Therefore it is likely that in populations with long term neighbours, selective associations and avoidances will arise. A number of recent studies show that in territorial songbird systems, like in the great tits (Parus major), eavesdropping can be a common phenomenon. This opens up the possibility that all individuals within hearing range can predict each other’s social response, and so on forehand could know who to associate with and who to better avoid. Until now researchers were unable to simultaneously approximate the personalities of individuals and quantify their pair-wise associations in the wild. We overcame this problem by using the new tracking technology, Encounternet, in a natural population of great tits tested for their exploration behaviour. In March 2012 we equipped over 30 wild great tits with radio-transmitters sending signals every 5 seconds. These signals could be received by a large number of wireless stations distributed throughout the forest. By triangulating locations we were able to extract, out of several thousands of simultaneous observations, dozens of close range encounters. In this presentation I will discuss the results of this exciting new approach so far and elaborate on our plans for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Symposium Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NEAM), Lunteren, the Netherlands, 5 February 2013
Pages15-15
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventSymposium Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NEAM), Lunteren, the Netherlands -
Duration: 5 Feb 2013 → …

Conference

ConferenceSymposium Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NEAM), Lunteren, the Netherlands
Period5/02/13 → …

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