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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 45.2 (2022) Pages: 287-298

Exploration behaviour and foraging strategies in Mediterranean blue tits

Velasco, A. C., Ferrer, E. S., Sanz, J. J.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0287

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Abstract

Animal behaviour is potentially a mechanism of individual diet specialization. To explore this possibility we assessed exploratory behaviour (EB) and foraging data for a population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. Our results suggest that: 1) foraging differs between sexes; 2) the prey type selected by females depends on the provisioning rates of their mate, and adjustment of this prey-choice differs between EB phenotypes; and 3) foraging behaviour in males shows a trend towards linkage to their EB phenotype, with faster-exploring males obtaining marginally larger caterpillars but provisioning less frequently than slower-exploring males. Lastly, environmental variables contributed substantially to the diet composition of offspring. For this reason, we cannot suggest that EB dominates, but it may contribute to a diet specialization process in our study population.

Keywords

Behaviour, Diet specialization, Prey choice, Intersexual differences

Cite

Velasco, A. C., Ferrer, E. S., Sanz, J. J., 2022. Exploration behaviour and foraging strategies in Mediterranean blue tits. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 45: 287-298, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0287

Reception date:

21/06/2022

Acceptation date:

25/08/2022

Publication date:

07/09/2022

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