Importance of competition for food and nest-sites in aggressive behaviour of Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis: Capsule Using an experimental approach, this study disentangles effects of two important sources on the elicitation of aggressive intersp

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:Krist, M
Journal:Bird Study
Volume:51
Issue:1
Date Published:2004
ISBN Number:0006-3657
Keywords:Ficedula, Ficedula albicollis, Fringilla, Fringilla coelebs, Fringillidae, Muscicapa, Muscicapa albicollis, Muscicapidae, Paridae, Parus, Parus major, Prunella, Prunella modularis, Prunellidae
Abstract:Aims To investigate experimentally whether competition for nest cavities and/or food can explain aggressive behaviour between competing species. Methods The Collared Flycatcher's Ficedula albicollis responses to mounts of Great Tit Parus major (nest-site and food competitor), Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (food competitor) and Dunnock Prunella modularis (control species) were tested. Trials were performed near flycatchers' nests during nest building, incubation and care of nestlings. Results The intensity of dive attacks and frequency of contact attacks showed that the aggression of Collared Flycatchers decreased in the direction: Great Tit > Chaffinch > Dunnock. The difference in aggressiveness was greater between Great Tit and Chaffinch than between Chaffinch and Dunnock. Aggression directed toward Great Tits increased from the nest building to the incubation stage and then decreased markedly in the nestling stage. Males were more aggressive than females. Conclusion These results suggest that competition for nest-sites, and to a lesser extent for food, may be of an interference nature and that the reproductive value hypothesis can only partly explain differences in the Collared Flycatcher's defensive behaviour found between sexes and stages of the breeding cycle.Aims To investigate experimentally whether competition for nest cavities and/or food can explain aggressive behaviour between competing species. Methods The Collared Flycatcher's Ficedula albicollis responses to mounts of Great Tit Parus major (nest-site and food competitor), Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (food competitor) and Dunnock Prunella modularis (control species) were tested. Trials were performed near flycatchers' nests during nest building, incubation and care of nestlings. Results The intensity of dive attacks and frequency of contact attacks showed that the aggression of Collared Flycatchers decreased in the direction: Great Tit > Chaffinch > Dunnock. The difference in aggressiveness was greater between Great Tit and Chaffinch than between Chaffinch and Dunnock. Aggression directed toward Great Tits increased from the nest building to the incubation stage and then decreased markedly in the nestling stage. Males were more aggressive than females. Conclusion These results suggest that competition for nest-sites, and to a lesser extent for food, may be of an interference nature and that the reproductive value hypothesis can only partly explain differences in the Collared Flycatcher's defensive behaviour found between sexes and stages of the breeding cycle.
URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00063650409461331
Short Title:Bird Study
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith