Differences in flight initiation distance (FID) between rural and urban populations of two species of Australian birds

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Abstract

Although flight initiation distance (FID) has been shown to be shorter in urban compared to rural populations of birds, less is known about how the characteristics of the urban environment, such as the population size and age of the city influences the FID and other aspects of anti-predator behaviour. Urban willie wagtails and magpie larks in a relatively small and new town had shorter FID than rural conspecifics. Both species were more likely to show a short, rather than long, escape flight if the experimenter started walking towards the bird from further away. There was some indication that urban birds may be more likely to show a short escape flight than rural birds. We conclude that anti-predator responses of birds can be influenced by a relatively small, recently established and sparsely-populated town. Additionally, the possibility of the characteristics of the urban centre influencing variation in the FID response is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehaviour
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019

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urban population
Urban Population
rural population
Rural Population
Birds
flight
birds
towns
predators
Population Density
Walking
walking
population size

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title = "Differences in flight initiation distance (FID) between rural and urban populations of two species of Australian birds",
abstract = "Although flight initiation distance (FID) has been shown to be shorter in urban compared to rural populations of birds, less is known about how the characteristics of the urban environment, such as the population size and age of the city influences the FID and other aspects of anti-predator behaviour. Urban willie wagtails and magpie larks in a relatively small and new town had shorter FID than rural conspecifics. Both species were more likely to show a short, rather than long, escape flight if the experimenter started walking towards the bird from further away. There was some indication that urban birds may be more likely to show a short escape flight than rural birds. We conclude that anti-predator responses of birds can be influenced by a relatively small, recently established and sparsely-populated town. Additionally, the possibility of the characteristics of the urban centre influencing variation in the FID response is discussed.",
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AU - Davey, Sara

AU - Massaro, Melanie

AU - Freire, Rafael

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N2 - Although flight initiation distance (FID) has been shown to be shorter in urban compared to rural populations of birds, less is known about how the characteristics of the urban environment, such as the population size and age of the city influences the FID and other aspects of anti-predator behaviour. Urban willie wagtails and magpie larks in a relatively small and new town had shorter FID than rural conspecifics. Both species were more likely to show a short, rather than long, escape flight if the experimenter started walking towards the bird from further away. There was some indication that urban birds may be more likely to show a short escape flight than rural birds. We conclude that anti-predator responses of birds can be influenced by a relatively small, recently established and sparsely-populated town. Additionally, the possibility of the characteristics of the urban centre influencing variation in the FID response is discussed.

AB - Although flight initiation distance (FID) has been shown to be shorter in urban compared to rural populations of birds, less is known about how the characteristics of the urban environment, such as the population size and age of the city influences the FID and other aspects of anti-predator behaviour. Urban willie wagtails and magpie larks in a relatively small and new town had shorter FID than rural conspecifics. Both species were more likely to show a short, rather than long, escape flight if the experimenter started walking towards the bird from further away. There was some indication that urban birds may be more likely to show a short escape flight than rural birds. We conclude that anti-predator responses of birds can be influenced by a relatively small, recently established and sparsely-populated town. Additionally, the possibility of the characteristics of the urban centre influencing variation in the FID response is discussed.

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KW - urbanisation

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