Publication
Title
Size matters but hunger prevails : begging and provisioning rules in blue tit families
Author
Abstract
It is commonly observed in many bird species that dependent offspring vigorously solicit for food transfers provided by their parents. However, the likelihood of receiving food does not only depend on the parental response, but also on the degree of sibling competition, at least in species where parents raise several offspring simultaneously. To date, little is known about whether and how individual offspring adjusts its begging strategy according to the entwined effects of need, state and competitive ability of itself and its siblings. We here manipulated the hunger levels of either the two heaviest or the two lightest blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in a short-term food deprivation experiment. Our results showed that the lightest nestlings consistently begged more than the heaviest nestlings, an effect that was overruled by the tremendous increase in begging behaviour after food deprivation. Meanwhile, the amplified begging signals after food deprivation were the only cue for providing parents in their decision process. Furthermore, we observed flexible but state-independent begging behaviour in response to changes in sibling need. As opposed to our expectations, nestlings consistently increased their begging behaviour when confronted with food deprived siblings. Overall, our study highlights that individual begging primarily aims at increasing direct benefits, but nevertheless reflects the complexity of a young birds family life, in addition to aspects of intrinsic need and state.
Language
English
Source (journal)
PeerJ
PeerJ
Publication
2018
ISSN
2167-8359
Volume/pages
6 (2018) , 13 p.
Article Reference
e5301
ISI
000439650800009
Pubmed ID
30038874
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Evolutionary ecological perspectives on bird family life: A study into the genetic and phenotypic mechanisms of offspring begging.
Evolution of suites of traits and constraints by intralocus sexual conflict.
Optimal parental investment – a battle between the sexes.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 23.07.2018
Last edited 20.09.2021
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