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An Experimental Study of Mate Directed Behaviour in the Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus

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Behaviours such as bill-touching, head-bobbing, and allopreening of females were investigated in male Budgerigars Melopsittacus undulatus under laboratory conditions to assess the importance of social conditions on their expression. Mated male and female Budgerigars were temporarily separated from the rest of the flock by placing them in small breeding cages. Males were observed when a cage divider was lifted and the male reunited with either his mate or another, familiar female. While behaviours such as bill-touching occurred more frequently with mates than non-mates, others such as male head bobbing did not. Allopreening only occurred between mates. All of these behaviours were more likely when mated pairs were in the presence of other flock members. Isolated males or those without auditory contact performed these behaviours less frequently. The results are discussed in terms of the possible roles that physical proximity between mates and social cues from familiar conspecifics play in coordinating reproductive and social behaviour in Budgerigars.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1990-12-01

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