What is it about?

Black-capped chickadees' personalities influence how they behave when a predator model is experimentally presented at a bird feeder. Individual foraging black-capped chickadees responded differently to the presence of a predator (Cooper’s hawk) model and a songbird (tufted titmouse) model. When the predator model was present, all individuals limited their visits to the feeder, had higher latency (time to return to the feeder) and shorter visits, and were less likely to visit. However, some individuals were bolder and others more cautious, to the point of avoiding the feeder entirely when the predator was present. A subset of birds continued to be reluctant to visit the feeder after the predator model was removed, and a different subset was reluctant to visit when the songbird model was present. Some but not all of the cautious individuals also showed high latency in some phases of the trials.

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Why is it important?

Examining behavioral responses on an individual basis allowed a more subtle understanding of behavior along the boldness–shyness continuum.

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This page is a summary of: Individual variation in Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) foraging behavior in response to a predator model., Journal of Comparative Psychology, November 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/com0000287.
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