Animal Cognition

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 33–42 | Cite as

Innovativeness and the effects of urbanization on risk-taking behaviors in wild Barbados birds

  • Simon Ducatez
  • Jean-Nicolas Audet
  • Jordi Ros Rodriguez
  • Lima Kayello
  • Louis Lefebvre
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Animal cognition in a human-dominated world

Abstract

The effects of urbanization on avian cognition remain poorly understood. Risk-taking behaviors like boldness, neophobia and flight distance are thought to affect opportunism and innovativeness, and should also vary with urbanization. Here, we investigate variation in risk-taking behaviors in the field in an avian assemblage of nine species that forage together in Barbados and for which innovation rate is known from previous work. We predicted that birds from highly urbanized areas would show more risk-taking behavior than conspecifics from less urbanized parts of the island and that the differences would be strongest in the most innovative of the species. Overall, we found that urban birds are bolder, less neophobic and have shorter flight distances than their less urbanized conspecifics. Additionally, we detected between-species differences in the effect of urbanization on flight distance, more innovative species showing smaller differences in flight distance between areas. Our results suggest that, within successful urban colonizers, species differences in innovativeness may affect the way species change their risk-taking behaviors in response to the urban environment.

Keywords

Urbanization Innovation Neophobia Flight initiation distance 

Supplementary material

10071_2016_1007_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (176 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 175 kb)

References

  1. Audet JN, Ducatez SD, Lefebvre L (2016) The town bird and the country bird: problem solving and immunocompetence vary with urbanization. Behav Ecol 27:637–644. doi:10.1093/beheco/arv201 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blumstein DT (2003) Flight initiation distance in birds is dependent on intruder starting distance. J Wildl Manage 67:852–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blumstein DT (2006) Developing an evolutionary ecology of fear: how life history and natural history traits affect disturbance tolerance in birds. Anim Behav 71:389–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chace JF, Walsh JJ (2006) Urban effects on native avifauna: a review. Landsc Urban Plan 74:46–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clucas B, Marzluff JM (2015) A cross-continental look at the patterns of avian species diversity and composition across an urbanisation gradient. Wild Res 42:554–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ducatez S, Lefebvre L (2014) Patterns of research effort in birds. PLoS ONE 9:e89955CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Ducatez S, Audet JN, Lefebvre L (2014) Problem solving and learning in Carib grackles: individuals show a consistent speed-accuracy trade-off. Anim Cogn 18:485–496CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Dunning JB (2008) CRC handbook of avian body masses, 2nd edn. CRC Press, Inc, Boca Raton, p 672Google Scholar
  9. Echeverría AI, Vassallo AI (2008) Novelty responses in a bird assemblage inhabiting an urban area. Ethology 114:616–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Echeverría AI, Vassallo AI, Isacch JP (2006) Experimental analysis of novelty responses in a bird assemblage inhabiting a suburban marsh. Can J Zool 84:974–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Greenberg R (2003) The role of neophobia and neophilia in the development of innovative behaviour of birds. In: Reader SM, Laland KN (eds) Animal innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 175–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Greenberg R, Mettke-Hofmann C (2001) Ecological aspects of neophobia and neophilia in birds. Curr Ornithol 16:119–178Google Scholar
  13. Griffin AS, Guez D (2014) Innovation and problem solving: a review of common mechanisms. Behav Process 109(Pt B):121–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hadfield JD (2010) MCMC methods for multi-response generalized linear mixed models: the MCMCglmm R Package. J Stat Softw 33:1–22. http://www.jstatsoft.org/v33/i02/
  15. Jetz W, Thomas GH, Joy JB, Hartmann K, Mooers AO (2012) The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491:444–448CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kark S, Iwaniuk A, Schalimtzek A, Banker E (2007) Living in the city: can anyone become an “urban exploiter”? J Biogeogr 34:638–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lefebvre L, Whittle P, Lascaris E, Finkelstein A (1997) Feeding innovations and forebrain size in birds. Anim Behav 53:549–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lefebvre L, Gaxiola A, Dawson S, Timmermans S, Rosza L, Kabai P (1998) Feeding innovations and forebrain size in Australasian birds. Behaviour 135:1077–1097CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lefebvre L, Ducatez S, Audet JN (2016) Feeding innovations in a nested phylogeny of neotropical passerines. Philos Trans R Soc B 371:20150188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. López-Sepulcre A, Kokko H (2012) Understanding behavioural responses and their consequences. In: Candolin U, Wong BBM (eds) Behavioural responses to a changing world. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 3–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Maklakov AA, Immler S, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Ronn J, Kolm N (2011) Brains and the city: big-brained passerine birds succeed in urban environments. Biol Lett 7:730–732CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. McKinney ML (2002) Urbanization, biodiversity and conservation. Bioscience 52:883–890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Meffert PJ, Dziock F (2013) The influence of urbanisation on diversity and trait composition of birds. Land Ecol 28:943–957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Møller AP (2008a) Flight distance and blood parasites in birds. Behav Ecol 19:1305–1313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Møller AP (2008b) Flight distance of urban birds, predation and selection for urban life. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 63:63–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Møller AP (2008c) Flight distance and population trends in European breeding birds. Behav Ecol 19:1095–1102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Møller AP (2009) Successful city dwellers: a comparative study of the ecological characteristics of urban birds in the Western Palearctic. Oecologia 159:849–858CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Møller AP (2010) Interspecific variation in fear responses predicts urbanization in birds. Behav Ecol 21:365–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Morand-Ferron J, Lefebvre L (2007) Flexible expression of a food-processing behaviour: determinants of dunking rates in wild Carib grackles of Barbados. Behav Process 76:218–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mueller JC, Partecke J, Hatchwell BJ, Gaston KJ, Evans KL (2013) Candidate gene polymorphisms for behavioural adaptations during urbanization in blackbirds. Mol Ecol 22:3629–3637CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Overington SE, Morand-Ferron J, Boogert NJ, Lefebvre L (2009) Technical innovations drive the relationship between innovativeness and residual brain size in birds. Anim Behav 78:1001–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Overington SE, Griffin AS, Sol D, Lefebvre L (2011) Are innovative species ecological generalists? A test in North American birds. Behav Ecol 22:1286–1293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. R Development Core Team (2008) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0. http://www.R-project.org
  34. Réale D, Reader SM, Sol D, McDougall PT, Dingemanse NJ (2007) Integrating animal temperament within ecology and evolution. Biol Rev 82:291–318CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Samia DSM, Nakagawa S, Nomura F, Rangel TF, Blumstein DT (2015a) Increased tolerance to humans among disturbed wildlife. Nat Commun 6:8877. doi:10.1038/ncomms9877 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Samia DSM, Møller AP, Blumstein DT (2015b) Brain size as a driver of avian escape strategy. Sci Rep 5:11913CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Shochat E, Warren PS, Faeth SHH (2006) Future directions in urban ecology. Trends Ecol Evol 21:661–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shochat E, Lerman S, Fernández-Juricic E (2010a) Birds in urban ecosystems: population dynamics, community structure, biodiversity, and conservation. Urban Ecosyst Ecol Agronomy Monogr 47907:75–86Google Scholar
  39. Shochat E, Susannah B, Warren PS, Faeth S (2010b) Invasion, competition and biodiversity loss in urban ecosystems. Bioscience 60:199–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sih A, Del Giudice M (2012) Linking behavioural syndromes and cognition: a behavioural ecology perspective. Philos Trans R Soc B 367:2762–2772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sol D (2015) The evolution of innovativeness: exaptation or specialized adaptation? In: Kaufman A, Kaufman J (eds) Animal creativity and innovation: research and theory. Academic Press, San Diego, California, pp 163–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sol D, Duncan RP, Blackburn TM, Cassey P, Lefebvre L (2005) Big brains, enhanced cognition, and response of birds to novel environments. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 102:5460–5465CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Sol D, Maspons J, Vall-Llosera M, Bartomeus I, Garcia-Pena GE, Pinol J, Freckleton RP (2012) Unraveling the life history of successful invaders. Science 337:580–583CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Sol D, Lapiedra O, González-Lagos C (2013) Behavioural adjustments for a life in the city. Anim Behav 2013:1101–1112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sol D, González-Lagos C, Moreira D, Maspons J, Lapiedra O (2014) Urbanisation tolerance and the loss of avian diversity. Ecol Lett 17:942–950CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Timmermans S, Lefebvre L, Boire D, Basu P (2000) Relative size of the hyperstriatum ventrale is the best predictor of feeding innovation rate in birds. Brain Behav Evol 56:196–203CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Webster SJ, Lefebvre L (2000) Neophobia in the Lesser Antillean bullfinch, a foraging generalist, and the bananaquit, a nectar specialist. Wilson Bull 112:424–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Webster SJ, Lefebvre L (2001) Problem solving and neophobia in a columbiform-passeriform assemblage in Barbados. Anim Behav 62:23–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zuur A, Ieno EN, Walker N, Saveliev AA, Smith GM (2009) Mixed effects models and extensions in ecology with R. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations