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|OTHER WILD BIRD STORIES
Bird Watching Stories
(Go Back to Wild Bird Page Contents)
|» Aransas in the Fog:
|» No Barbeque this Summer|
|» Barn Swallow "Mama"|
|» Just How Does a Bird Eat Bees?|
|» My Birdwatching Adventures in Costa Rica|
|» Just Another Golden Eagle|
| » Four Birds in One Tree:
A Few Days of Birdwatching in England
|» Four Calling Birds???|
|» A Very Unique Cardinal|
|» Narcissism or Territorial
Defense: Macho Cardinal
|» The Last Companion Carolina Paroquet|
|» The Ever-Popular Chickadee|
|» Convergent Evolution: Meadowlark and Longclaw|
|» Barrel Cactus Confrontation|
|» Galahs Playing Around and Around and Around ...|
|» Who Made Up This Stuff?
Bird Call Mnemonics
|» Mesmerizing a Goldfinch|
|» The Best Mimic?|
|» Prairie Chickens and Woodcocks:
|» Mob Mentality: Who is Really in Control of the Skies?|
|» The Owl Who Sat Down Beside Me|
|» Meeting Hot Shot: The Toddler Peregrine Falcon|
|» Seeing 'Sea Parrots'
| » A Rare and Unusual Bird
Meeting Roger Tory Peterson
|» Raven Showoffs|
|» Reddish Egrets a nd Canopy Feeding|
| » Robins and Worms
Hear, See, Smell, or Feel?
|» Hospital Halucinations|
|» What Are You Doing Here? Scissortail Flycatcher|
|» Wild Bird "Attacks": Just Misunderstandings?|
|» Drunken Waxwings and an Unusual Hummingbird Feeder|
|» Acorn Woodpecker Defending its Stash|
|» Why Woodpeckers Don't Get Headaches: Built in Shock Absorber|
|DO BUDGIES USE THE EVIL EYE?|
|By Lynne Page Illustration by Jeff Riebe|
Limited Evidence for an audience Effect in Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Aliza P. Baltz and Anne B. Clark; Animal Behavior, vol. 47, no. 2, 1994, pp. 460-462.
Most people who live with parrots have little doubt that the birds modify their behavior (not necessarily for the better) when they know someone is watching, and that they usually DO know when they have an audience. This short article describes the results of a study designed to answer the question: Are male budgies less likely to ‘fool around” when their mates are watching? The answer apparentlv is “yes.”
The subjects were eight pairs of captive budgies housed together in a roomy aviary (4.9 x 5.6 x 2.4 m., or about 16 x 18 x 8 feet). Careful observation revealed that seven out of the eight males courted hens other than their mates more often when their mates were completely in their nest boxes, unable to observe.
The authors theorize that a hen who sees her mate repeatedly courting “other women” might look for another mate who would devote more time to feeding his family.
The one exceptional male who engaged in extra-pair courtship even when his mate could observe him may have been anticipating a divorce. He and his mate were the only pair not to hatch young the year before the study and were one of only two pairs not to produce young during the season of the study.
From this experiment there is no way to know whether the pair was unsuccessful because the pair bond was weak, or whether the bond was weak because the pair was unsuccessful. It does raise the question whether continually pulling eggs or hatchlings from a pair might weaken the pair bond.