Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hatching order influences birds' behavior

Date:
December 7, 2012
Source:
Lancaster University
Summary:
The hatching order of birds influences how they behave in adult life according to new research. Biologists looked at how the birds' behavior was affected by the way their parents cared for them as hatchlings. They found that the youngest members of zebra finch broods are more adventurous than their older siblings in adult life.

The youngest members of zebra finch broods are more adventurous than their older siblings in adult life.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lancaster University

The hatching order of birds influences how they behave in adult life according to research from the Lancaster Environment Centre. Dr Ian Hartley and Dr Mark Mainwaring (LEC) are the authors of the study in Animal Behaviour, which looked at how the birds' behaviour was affected by the way their parents cared for them as hatchlings.

Related Articles


They found that the youngest members of zebra finch broods are more adventurous than their older siblings in adult life.

Dr Hartley said that the study showed for the first time that hatching order influences birds' "behavioural repertoires" in adulthood.

Hatching eggs over a period of time, rather than all at once, is known as "hatching asynchrony" and occurs when eggs are incubated as soon as they are laid. For a zebra finch, this means that birds born up to four days apart can share the same nest and must compete for food.

The researchers experimentally controlled hatching synchrony within clutches, so that some clutches hatched simultaneously, while others hatched over a period of days. They then tested the behaviour of over one hundred offspring as adults. They found the youngest birds from asynchronously hatched clutches explored their environment more widely.

They measured how explorative the zebra finches were by recording how many times they visited bird feeders within an unfamiliar test aviary. They found that the youngest offspring in a brood approached the feeders significantly more often than their peers within a 30 minute period.

Researchers wanted to know how the method of rearing affected the behaviour of offspring beyond the nest, once they were living as independent adult birds. The results have implications for understanding how environmental stability might influence behaviours, and how flexible animals might be at coping with environmental change


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lancaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark C. Mainwaring, Ian R. Hartley. Hatching asynchrony and offspring sex influence the subsequent exploratory behaviour of zebra finches. Animal Behaviour, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.10.009

Cite This Page:

Lancaster University. "Hatching order influences birds' behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121207094343.htm>.
Lancaster University. (2012, December 7). Hatching order influences birds' behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121207094343.htm
Lancaster University. "Hatching order influences birds' behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121207094343.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins