• Sunday, 17 February 2019

Did you know, males of great tit birds choose like-minded neighbours?

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 : Just like students choose their flatmates, Briton researchers have found that males of great tit birds are quiet selective when it comes to neighbourhood and opt to nest together with like-minded neighbours to improve their chances of survival.

Oxford University researchers found that nesting closer to others of similar character may improve a bird's chances of survival and passing on their genes to the next generation.

Lead author Katerina Johnson explained, "We found that males, but not females, were picky about personalities, with males opting for like-minded neighbours. Our results emphasise that social interactions may play a key role in animal decisions."

The team investigated whether the personality of birds influences their social lives - in particular, who they choose to nest near.

The study involved analysing social network structure in a population of wild great tits at Wytham Woods over six consecutive breeding seasons.

This tendency for males to associate with other males of similar personality may be particularly important during the breeding season when aggression peaks.

Males fiercely defend their territories and compete for opportunities to mate with females and so shyer males may avoid setting up home near bolder, more aggressive individuals.

Females, however, likely choose where to nest based on the attractive qualities of males.

"Just like students choosing their flatmates, birds may pay more attention to who they share their living space with than simply location," Katerina added.

"Animal personalities can influence their social organisation and humans are likewise known to form social networks based on shared attributes including personality," Katerina noted.

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Did you know, males of great tit birds choose like-minded neighbours?

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