Agonistic and affiliative behaviours and spatial positioning were studied in a small psittacine species, N. hollandicus. Subjects studied were flock-housed breeders including 5 hens and 7 cocks. 15-minute focal animal samples were collected for the entire flock in a randomly distributed order during mate selection and the onset of the breeding season. All agonistic behaviours were recorded, including the winner and loser of each interaction, along with allopreening and copulation behaviour. Point samples were recorded every 60 s to determine social spacing. Rates of aggression were significantly higher for male cockatiels than female cockatiels. Results based on dyadic agonistic interactions showed males to rank significantly higher in the social hierarchy than females. Associations within the flock were not random. Individual birds associated more with specific birds than would be predicted by chance. Analysis of spatial data revealed that there were both same-sex and opposite-sex preferred associations within the flock. Male cockatiels engaged in allopreening behaviour with females significantly more than with other males. Observations of breeding and nesting behaviours revealed pairs, a triad, and extra-pair mating.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Department of Anatomy and Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.|
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