Social networking with territorial songbirds — ASN Events

Social networking with territorial songbirds (#130)

Lysanne Snijders 1 , Kees van Oers 2 , Marc Naguib 1
  1. Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  2. NIOO-KNAW, Wageningen, The Netherlands

In several species personality differences correlate with variation in social behaviour. We here tested whether social network position is related to individual differences in exploration behaviour using a wild, territorial, personality-typed great tit population. By means of novel, large-scale, automated tracking we show that slower exploring males had less-central social network positions1. Yet, they were overall not less active than fast explorers, suggesting that a less-central social network position was not merely a consequence of lower activity. Additionally, we tested in these songbirds if and how communication is related to their spatial behaviour, as both signalling2 and proximity can be used as a social connector. Finally, we conducted a video playback experiment to disentangle if exploration behaviour is actually a causal factor in structuring their social environment. Hence, could territorial individuals be influencing the structuring of their own social environment?

  1. Snijders, L., van Rooij, E. P., Burt, J. M., Hinde, C. A., van Oers, K., & Naguib, M. (2014). Social networking in territorial great tits: slow explorers have the least central social network positions. Animal Behaviour, 98, 95-102.
  2. Snijders, L., van Rooij E. P., van der Eijk, J., de Goede, P., van Oers, K., Naguib, M. (2015). Song trait similarity varies with social structure. PLOS ONE: In Press.