About the Project
Body mass is an important component of the energetic costs involved in bird flight. Fat stores are an essential source of fuel for the body during long flights, but excessive body mass will increase flight costs dramatically. Body mass is also known to play a role in certain animal societies in determining social structure and dominance hierarchies. Birds will have a trade-off, therefore, between optimal body mass for flight, and requirements for body fuel in the form of fat, and social dynamics.
This project aims to investigate flock social structure and group dynamics in homing pigeons. Birds will be flown from release sites equipped with data loggers, and factors such as speed, flap frequency and wing-beat amplitude of all birds within the flock will be investigated. Individuals will then have their body mass artificially manipulated, to measure the outcomes this has on the birds general flight behaviour. These manipulations will be achieved through the addition of small weights to the back of the birds. Furthermore, this project will investigate dominance hierarchies in pigeon flocks, and leader follower dynamics during group navigational flights, again with respect to manipulations of body mass.
Taylor, L. A., Portugal, S. J. and Biro, D. (2017) Homing pigeons modulate wingbeat characteristics as a function of route familiarity. Journal of Experimental Biology. 220: 2908-2915.
Portugal, S.J., Sivess, L., Butler, P.J., Martin, G.R. and White, C.R. (2017) Perch height predicts dominance rank in birds. Ibis. 159: 456-462.
Why not add a message here
Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.
Based on your current search criteria we thought you might be interested in these.