More social birds are more adventurous feeders, study finds

April 05, 2024

One way that sociable individuals could reduce competition is by broadening their diets to include new types of food. For the first time, researchers have now demonstrated a direct link between individual birds’ position within their ‘social network’ and their likelihood to exploit novel food sources. After closely monitoring the birds to establish their social network, the researchers then tested each birds’ propensity to use novel foods. Curiously, sociability had no impact on how quickly birds first used the novel feeder, with most birds (92%) using the novel food at some point during the trial, and no difference between sociable birds and less sociable birds in how quickly they tried it. The study ‘Social network centrality predicts dietary decisions in a wild bird population’ has been published in iScience.

The source of this news is from University of Oxford