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Copying the majority: Density dependent heterospecific and conspecific social information use in nest site selecting Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca)

Kromhout Van Der Meer, I.M. (2017) Copying the majority: Density dependent heterospecific and conspecific social information use in nest site selecting Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). Master's Thesis / Essay, Ecology and Evolution.

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Abstract

Social cues of competitors are an important source of information for birds in their process of breeding habitat selection. Although birds can both use heterospecific and conspecific cues, it is still unclear under what circumstances birds choose to use either heterospecific or conspecific information. In our experiment we provided two different geometric symbols on occupied nest boxes of heterospecific tits and conspecific pied flycatchers and on empty nest boxes. We tested whether later arriving pied flycatchers choose empty boxes with either the heterospecific or conspecific symbol. Here, we show that breeding habitat selecting pied flycatcher males use social information from their competitors and that they have a clear preference for either heterospecific or conspecific cues, depending on the tutor frequency in the area. We found that pied flycatchers prefer to copy the symbol from the majority, that is the species that occupied the most nest boxes in a study area. Similar results were found in previous studies, indicating that copying from the majority is a persistent mechanism in breeding habitat selecting flycatchers.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Ecology and Evolution
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:32
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:32
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/16032

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