Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor B.G. Galef, Jr.
There is reason to believe that birds feeding in flocks enjoy several different types of advantage relative to birds that feed alone. Most relevant to this thesis, flocking can facilitate individual birds' discovery of potential foraging sites. In the present research, both the long-term consequences of social feeding socially were examined in Burmese junglefowl (Gallus gallus spadiceus). The results of experiments presented in Chapter 2 indicated that junglefowl can learn to select either a type of feeding site or a location in which to feed simply by observing feeding companions. Social interaction biased the foraging behaviour of fowl for at least two days after interaction occurred.
In experiments described in Chapter 3, junglefowl used information acquired during the exposure to videotaped companions to orient their own subsequent feeding behaviour. Different aspects of the feeding behaviours of video-taped tutor fowl influenced different aspects of their observers' feeding behaviour. For example, during testing, observer birds' latencies to initiate pecking were reduced by pervious exposure to the sight of conspecifics feeding, while the orientation of observers' pecking was influenced only when observers had both seen and heard feeding companions. The final study, presented in Chapter 4, indicated that observer fowl, even while feeding, were themselves able to learn about foraging sites where videotaped companions fed.
McQuoid, Laurel Marie, "Social Feeding in Burmese Junglefowl (Gallus gallus spadiceus)" (1992). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1899.