Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Studies of the Flock Organization of the White-Throated Sparrow

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1941
Authors:Wessel, JP, W. Leigh, H
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1941
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Passer, Passer domesticus, Passeridae, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia albicollis
Abstract:1. An observation screen with a transparent mirror provides a situation in which the psychological factors are conducive to satisfactory experimental conditions. This is especially true when studying English Sparrows. The use of the screen in the study of wild birds in captivity is good technique for it reduces to a minimum the possible errors in making observations. 2. Keeping birds in total darkness between periods of observation and providing food only during observations (generally two hours per day) make possible the recording of a majority of the contacts and gives greater quantitative returns during observation periods. 3. The social order among White-throated Sparrows is of the firmly fixed, despotic sort originally described by Schjelderup-Ebbe. In our flocks of three, four, and five the straight-line type was shown to exist. In our flock of six two triangles developed. Peck triangle No. 2, having no territorial history, persisted after the reduction of the flock to five members. 4. In White-throated Sparrows there seems to be no correlation between sex and position in the social order.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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