|Title||To tweet or not to tweet : the role of personality in the social networks of great tits : the role of personality in the social networks of great tits|
|Source||University. Promotor(en): Marc Naguib, co-promotor(en): Kees van Oers. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576940 - 237 p.|
|Publication type||Dissertation, internally prepared|
|Keyword(s)||cum laude - parus major - personality - communication between animals - social structure - vocalization - bird song - social behaviour - animal behaviour - behavioural biology - persoonlijkheid - communicatie tussen dieren - sociale structuur - vocalisatie - vogelzang - sociaal gedrag - diergedrag - gedragsbiologie|
|Categories||Aves / Animal Behaviour and Ethology|
To tweet or not to tweet: The role of personality in the social networks of great tits
Project video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy0HysxhQz0
When mentioning social networks it is easy to think of online networks for people, such as Facebook and Twitter. But many animals also have social networks. In proximity networks they encounter each other physically and in communication networks they connect to each other by using signals. Their position in such social networks is important. It can influence the likelihood of finding new food, acquiring novel foraging techniques, rising in social status and acquiring a mate. However, having many contacts can also be risky as it increases the likelihood of encountering infectious diseases, social stress or ending up in a fight.
An ideal model to study this hypothesis is the great tit. A common garden bird. There are well established methods to quantify personality differences in great tits and with the newest tracking technologies we can now also monitor their face-tot-face contacts. What makes the great tit even more interesting is that they like to breed in nest boxes and so we can also study potential fitness effects of specific network positions. Additionally, great tits are songbirds, which makes them also ideal to answer a second question: Do individuals that are shy to approach others, use communication instead? Since communication is often a less risky connection strategy than face-to-face contact.
In this PhD thesis I reveal how and when personality explains why some birds are better connected than others. In wild territorial populations pro-active males were better connected to other males and were most likely to approach a rival. In contrast, when removing the risk of fights during male-to-male spatial associations, via a video-playback experiment in captivity, the re-active males appeared to be most social. When confronted with the life-size video image of a novel conspecific, they spent the most time associating with it. When lowering the risks associated with spatial associations the social preferences of re-active individuals might thus increase. No relationship was found between social network position in the wild and reproductive success, an important fitness component.