Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Predation risk drives the expression of mobbing across bird species


Ribeiro da Cunha, Filipe Cristovao; Rodrigues Fontenelle, Julio Cesar; Griesser, Michael (2017). Predation risk drives the expression of mobbing across bird species. Behavioral Ecology, 28(6):1517-1523.

Abstract

Many species approach predators to harass and drive them away, even though mobbing a predator can be deadly. However, not all species display this behavior, and those that do can exhibit different behaviors while mobbing different predators. Here we experimentally assessed the role of social and ecological traits on the expression of mobbing behavior in a bird community in SE Brazil (n = 157 species). We exposed birds to models of two morphologically similar diurnal owls that pose different risks, and assessed which species engaged in mobbing. Among those that mobbed, we evaluated how they adjusted their mobbing behavior depending on the predator type. We tested the hypothesis that only species that are at risk and can afford to mob engage in this antipredator behavior. We found that species that engaged in mobbing are in the body mass range of potential prey, forage in the understory or in the canopy, and form flocks. A species’ social system did not influence its mobbing behavior. Furthermore, species that engaged in mobbing formed larger mobbing assemblages when facing a high-risk predator, but mobbed more intensely when facing a low-risk predator. Our findings support our predictions, namely that the expression of mobbing is limited by its costs.

Abstract

Many species approach predators to harass and drive them away, even though mobbing a predator can be deadly. However, not all species display this behavior, and those that do can exhibit different behaviors while mobbing different predators. Here we experimentally assessed the role of social and ecological traits on the expression of mobbing behavior in a bird community in SE Brazil (n = 157 species). We exposed birds to models of two morphologically similar diurnal owls that pose different risks, and assessed which species engaged in mobbing. Among those that mobbed, we evaluated how they adjusted their mobbing behavior depending on the predator type. We tested the hypothesis that only species that are at risk and can afford to mob engage in this antipredator behavior. We found that species that engaged in mobbing are in the body mass range of potential prey, forage in the understory or in the canopy, and form flocks. A species’ social system did not influence its mobbing behavior. Furthermore, species that engaged in mobbing formed larger mobbing assemblages when facing a high-risk predator, but mobbed more intensely when facing a low-risk predator. Our findings support our predictions, namely that the expression of mobbing is limited by its costs.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 01 Mar 2018
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 10:14
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 14:54
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1045-2249
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arx111
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_150752
  • : Project TitleThe fall and rise of cooperative breeding and family living in birds

Download

Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only until 1 December 2018
Size: 268kB
View at publisher
Embargo till: 2018-12-01