SOLARO, C. and SARASOLA, J.H. 2019. Urban living predicts behavioural response in a Neotropical raptor. Behavioural Processes 169:103995.
Abstract: Behaviour is expected to be one of the most important factors driving urban living of bird species because it largely determines how animals interact with their environments. The contribution of different behavioural traits as facilitators of contemporary process of bird colonization of urban environments, however, is still unclear. Here we examined the differences in three behavioural traits: neophobia (avoidance of a new object) and solving success and solving latency of a problem solving test related to obtain food, in rural and urban living individuals of a common diurnal Neotropical raptor, the chimango caracara (Phalcoboenus chimango). Moreover, for solving success and solving latency behaviours, we tested the plasticity (i.e., habituation) in birds. Urban and rural chimangos showed similar neophobia of a new object. All chimangos showed an improvement in their output in problem-solving test as the five-day testing passed but urban chimangos showed higher solving capabilities than rural conspecifics as they were more successful in solving the problem test. More, urban birds shown lower solving latency than rural, as they were able to improve their test performance by opening doors in less time as the day passed; in rural birds this relation was not so abrupt. In addition, those individuals that opened more doors, opened these faster too. Lastly, both solving success and latency showed very low individual consistency (repeatability < 0.275). Our results provide evidence of plasticity in solving capabilities of chimango caracaras which reveal that a habituation process in these behavioural traits could be associated to establishment of birds in urban environments.
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