Friday, January 21, 2022

Individual variation in the foraging behaviour of two New Zealand foliage-gleaning birds

TitleIndividual variation in the foraging behaviour of two New Zealand foliage-gleaning birds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMcLean, IG
Type of ArticleFull article
KeywordsAcanthisitta chloris, feeding behaviour, foraging personality, Gerygone igata, Grey Warbler, rifleman


The foraging behaviour of two foliage gleaning birds, rifleman and grey warbler (henceforth warbler), was studied at Kowhai bush, Kaikoura, with the aims of exploring behavioural variation by individual pairs, and broader patterns of foraging behaviour for each species. Data on six foraging variables were collected from individually identifiable birds of known breeding status at the time of sampling. A total of 1,632 samples were taken during the spring/summer period of 1987/8. Data analysis explored foraging behaviour in relation to species, sex, and breeding stage. Individual pairs of riflemen exhibited significant variation in behaviour, indicating behavioural specialisation that I term a “foraging personality” identified as an emergent characteristic of each pair. Riflemen showed greater within-pair variation than warblers. The similarities and differences in foraging behaviour between the two species are described and are linked to their behavioural ecology. Analyses are presented in relation to the problem of data independence when repeated samples are taken from one individual.


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