Distance from water, sex and approach direction influence flight distances among habituated black swans

Guay, Patrick-Jean, Lorenz, Rachael D.A., Robinson, Randall W., Symonds, Matthew R.E. and Weston, Michael A. 2013, Distance from water, sex and approach direction influence flight distances among habituated black swans, Ethology, vol. 119, no. 7, pp. 552-558.

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Title Distance from water, sex and approach direction influence flight distances among habituated black swans
Author(s) Guay, Patrick-Jean
Lorenz, Rachael D.A.
Robinson, Randall W.
Symonds, Matthew R.E.
Weston, Michael A.
Journal name Ethology
Volume number 119
Issue number 7
Start page 552
End page 558
Total pages 7
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Verlag
Place of publication Weinheim, Germany
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0179-1613
Summary In many animals, response to predators occurs at greater distances the further an individual is from a refuge, but this has rarely been investigated in birds. Here, we test the hypothesis that the further from refuge (i.e. water) a foraging black swan Cygnus atratus is situated, the longer its flight initiation distance (FID) in response to a pedestrian approach on land. As predicted, swans situated farther from water exhibited longer FIDs compared with those closer to the shore. In addition, there was the possibility of an interesting interaction effect (p < 0.061) of sex and direction of approach on FID. Whilst males tended to not alter their response in relation to the angle of approach relative to the water, females tended to respond at longer distances, when approached from the shore than when approached from the land or parallel to the shore. This is one of the first reports of sex differences in FIDs for birds, with sex differences only manifesting themselves under certain approach types. Group size, the order of repeated approaches, and time of day did not influence responses, although starting distance of approach was positively related to FID.
Language eng
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
060809 Vertebrate Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055252

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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