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Title

The features of distraction behaviour and their relationship with physical condition in Rufous Bush Chats

AuthorsÁlvarez, Fernando ; Sánchez, Cristina
Issue Date2003
PublisherUniversità di Firenze
CitationEthology Ecology and Evolution 15: 355- 368 (2003)
AbstractParent Rufus Bush Chats Cercotrichas galactotes perform of distraction display, approaching and flying away from potential predators near their nests while vocalizing and displaying their conspicuously coloured tail. The response of breeding pairs attending their first brood during the mid and final nestling stages was registered to stimuli of danger near their nests over two seasons. The first stimulus was a human observer standing by the nest and then following the parent in an experiment of distraction (first and last distances and direction of flights were recorded), the second stimuli were a Little Owl and a Corn Bunting mounts (latency and rate of tail-up were measured). For the most part, males and females did not differ in their responses. Breeding pairs were matched in first distance. Chats showed higher latency towards the control and higher tail-up rate towards the owl model. The males' rate of tail-up was proportional to the size of the defended brood, and males of smaller body size showed longer last distance. The relationship of the distraction behaviour with condition (body weight / keel length, haematocrit and leukocyte index) was investigated under stepwise multiple linear regression. In males higher haematocrit values were related to higher rates of tail-up display. Higher deposits of fat in the interclavicular depression were related in males to higher tail-up rates, and in females to closer first distance, and to higher number of flights away from the defended nest during the distraction experiment. In conclusion, distraction behaviour appear to depend on short- and long-term condition.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/61733
DOI10.1080/08927014.2003.9522662
Identifiersdoi: 10.1080/08927014.2003.9522662
issn: 0394-9370
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