Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Dominance Relationships between Resident and Transient Wintering Siskins

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1990
Authors:Senar, JC, Copete, JL, Metcalfe, NB
Journal:Ornis Scandinavica
Date Published:1990
ISBN Number:00305693
Keywords:Carduelis, Carduelis Spinus, Fringillidae, Spinus, Spinus spinus
Abstract:Wintering populations of Siskins Carduelis spinus have been found to contain both resident and transient individuals. Transients are attracted to the calls given by feeding residents; in this way residents obtain the anti-predator advantages of a larger feeding flock. Residents have been suggested to be dominant over transients, so avoiding the costs of increased competition. If this is the case, two alternative situations can be envisaged: (1) most of the observed aggression involves residents attempting to exclude transients from feeding patches; (2) most of the aggression is between transients, since dominants are able to ensure undisputed access to food due to their higher status. In order to examine these two hypothesis, we studied agonistic interactions between transient and resident wintering Siskins at a bird table during an invasion year. Residents were dominant over transients. For intra-male interactions, it was found that transients interacted with other transients more often than expected by chance, and residents with other residents less than expected. This relationship was not found for females. The results suggest that residents are able to obtain preferential access to resources, while transients face the greatest competition with each other.
Short Title:Ornis Scandinavica
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