Date: October 1, 2018
Source: University of Oxford
Research from Oxford University has revealed that bold male birds focus on forming strong relationships with their future breeding partners while shy male birds play the field.
A new study from the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, has found that the individual personalities of male great tits influences how they bond with their future breeding partner.
The bolder, more proactive, males choose their future partners sooner, as well as putting more effort into their relationship before the breeding season begins. Shy males are less devoted to forming a strong pair bond, and instead spend more of their time flocking with other females.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, demonstrate how individual differences in behaviour can shape the formation of crucial social relationships in the wild.
Dr Josh Firth, who led the research, said: "Finding a mating partner is of upmost importance to these birds, just as it is for many species across the animal kingdom. We wanted to ask why individuals of the same species differ so much in how much effort they put into forming these relationships."
The research, which was carried out at Oxford University's Wytham Woods, assessed the personalities of hundreds of individual wild great tits, and then used radio-frequency identification tags to track the birds' social networks over multiple years.