Social Hierarchy and Activity in Caged Flocks of Dark-Eyed Juncos, Junco Hyemalis

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Activities of 3 flocks were monitored by the number of visits to the feeder and the amount of time spent feeding, drinking, perching, preening, and hopping around. There was considerable individuality among the birds with respect to the time spent in different activities. Ranking the birds by the percentage of time spent in a given activity did not consistently match the ranking of birds in the peck order. This finding indicates that a subordinate bird was under no particular disadvantage with respect to access to food and that the advantages of membership in a flock were not greatly diminished by social position. This outcome may possibly be affected by food abundance and by the role aggression plays in the dominance interactions of the particular species involved.


Author Institution: Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University



The Ohio Journal of Science. v81, n1 (January, 1981), 24-28