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Adaptation of behaviour by two bird species as a result of habituation to humans

Metcalf, B.M., Davies, S.J.J.F. and Ladd, P.G. (2000) Adaptation of behaviour by two bird species as a result of habituation to humans. Australian Bird Watcher, 18 . pp. 306-312.

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Abstract

Over a number of years it has been noticed that two bird species, Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris and the Grey Currawong Strepera versicolor, have begun to repopulate areas from which they had fled with the advent of European settlement. The flight-initiation distance (FID) of these spec1es m these areas was compared with that from areas with a minimal human presence. The median FID was significantly less for birds from 'urban' areas compared with birds from 'rural' areas. Both species learn habituation to humans. It is likely in the Grey Currawong that this behaviour is either learned from adults by the young individuals that establish new territories in areas closer to human habitation, or is the result of a process of selection favouring individuals which ignore human disturbance and therefore have more time to care for offspring. In Carnaby's Cockatoo the habituation that is apparent in urban areas is modified by a return to increased wariness in areas where breeding occurs. This may be related to cockatoos being more cautious when caring for young than they would be when lacking this responsibility in urban areas.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: The Bird Observers Club of Victoria
Copyright: © The authors
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/17196
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