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Conspecific Recognition in Pigeons (Columba Livia) Using Dynamic Video Images

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image of Behaviour

Video images of pigeons were used to examine the degree to which these images are equivalent to real live conspecifics by analyzing the natural behaviors of pigeons in the presence of each stimulus. Three aspects of courtship display (i.e. bowing, tail-dragging, and vocalizations) were selected and the display duration for each was measured. When videotaped images of female pigeons were presented as stimuli, the display duration by male pigeons was not significantly different from that for the live birds. In contrast, the subjects showed much shorter, or no, displays to the video images of a non-pigeon bird (cockatoo) and an empty chamber. The results suggest that the video images of pigeons contained necessary information to trigger the courtship behaviors. Furthermore, the present study examined which features of the video images were critical for triggering the displays by manipulating the images. Thus, the subjects' behaviors were more vigorous (1) when video images were in motion rather than still, and (2) when the head-only region was visible rather than the body-only region. These results suggest that motion and facial/head characteristics are important features. Collectively, the results indicate that the use of video images as stimuli and courtship displays as measures provide a useful method to study the visual recognition of conspecifics in birds.

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Psychology and Surgery, BER 339, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA;, Email: shimizu@chuma.cas.usf.edu

10.1163/156853998793066429
/content/journals/10.1163/156853998793066429
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853998793066429
1998-02-01
2016-12-10

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