One of the gang: social group dynamics in a juvenile passerine bird

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Victoria R FranksRose Thorogood

Abstract

Living in groups comes with many potential benefits, especially for juveniles. Naive individuals may learn how to forage, or avoid predators through group vigilance. Understanding these benefits, however, requires an appreciation of the opportunities juveniles have to associate with (and learn from) others. Here we describe social groups in terms of residency, movement, relatedness, and social associations from the perspective of juvenile hihi, a threatened New Zealand passerine bird. Over three years, we identified individuals in groups, their relatedness, and behavioural interactions. Using multistate analysis, we compared movement and residency of adults and juveniles and found that groups were composed predominately of juveniles which remained at group sites for longer than more transient adults. Movement of juveniles between groups did occur but was generally low. There was no evidence that siblings and parents were likely to be seen in groups together. With an initial understanding of group structure, we next asked what characteristics predicted assortment in social network associations. By identifying groups of co-occurring juveniles from time-stamped observations of individual hihi and building a social network, we foun...Continue Reading

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