Research provides new insights on the impact of wild birds' social networks

New research looks into how social networks among wild great tits, as they forage in flocks during the winter, carry over into shaping the set locations at which the birds breed and raise their young during the spring.

Experts found that during breeding, both in terms of how close individuals nest to one another and with whom they form territory boundaries, is underpinned by prior social associations occurring as individuals search for food over the winter. By shaping where individuals locate themselves, social networks may have population-level effects by influencing the birds' future environmental conditions and social settings they experience.

"This work shows how individuals may base around their close social counterparts, and also illustrates how social associations occurring at one point in their life may carry-over into an important time in the future" said Dr. Josh Firth, co-author of the Ecology Letters research.

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More information: Josh A. Firth et al, Social carry-over effects underpin trans-seasonally linked structure in a wild bird population, Ecology Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1111/ele.12669
Journal information: Ecology Letters

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Citation: Research provides new insights on the impact of wild birds' social networks (2016, October 25) retrieved 19 June 2021 from
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