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PIGEON COURTSHIP BEHAVIOUR IN RESPONSE TO LIVE BIRDS AND VIDEO PRESENTATIONS Barrie J. Frost, Nikolaus F. Troje and Sharon David Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 1 INTRODUCTION 2 METHODS continued 3 RESULTS 300 350 200 Over the past decade several studies Apparatus: Experiments were conducted 180 have demonstrated the utility of video in an arena measuring 1.25 m wide x 1.25 250 300 Duration (seconds) Duration (seconds) Duration (seconds) 160 based technologies for presenting m long x 1.25 m high, with a TV set which 250 140 stimulus patterns for studies of animal displayed stimulus conditions, positioned 200 120 behaviour (Swartz and Rosenbaum, 1980; so that it was flush with one wall. A Sony 200 150 100 Cook and Mineka, 1990; Clark and Uetz, 8mm VHS Handycam recorded both audio 150 80 1990; Evans and Marler, 1991; Evans et and video behaviour of the subjects. 100 100 60 al., 1993; McQuoid and Galef, 1994). In a 40 recent experiment Shimizu (1997) found Stimuli in Experiment 1 consisted of video- 50 50 20 that male pigeons ( Columba livia) recordings of, (1) a sexually receptive 0 0 exhibited courtship displays to video female pigeon, (2) a non-sexually 0 Live Pigeon Video Pigeon Empty Room Live Pigeon Video Pigeon Empty Room Receptive Non-Receptive Receptive Duck images of female pigeons that were receptive female pigeon, (3) a sexually Female Female Male similar to their responses to live females, receptive male pigeon, and (4) a non- Figure 1: Male Recognition Experiment 1 - Figure 3: Arena Experiment - Total Figure 5: Runway Experiment - Total while exhibiting no courtship behaviour to conspecific (a domestic mallard duck). Total Courtship Duration. Courtship Duration. Courtship Duration. video images of a non-conspecific For experiment 2, similar sets of stimuli (parrot). In the experiments reported here were made but males were the models, 300 0.7 350 0.7 100 Proportion of Coos Proportion of Coos we carried out initial studies to ascertain and females the subjects. Proportion of Tail Drags Propt. of Tail Drags 90 300 Proportion of Responses 0.6 0.6 whether both male and female pigeons Proportion of Responses 250 Duration (seconds) Duration (seconds) Waltzing Duration Waltzing Duration Duration (seconds) 80 would produce courtship behaviour to Procedure: The stimulus conditions were 0.5 250 0.5 70 200 video images of the opposite gender birds. counterbalanced across subjects using 4 x 60 0.4 200 0.4 In a second set of experiments we 4 Latin Squares. Each test trial was 150 50 investigated how similar male courtship scored on a number of courtship 0.3 150 0.3 40 behaviour was when live models were dimensions, including frequency of 100 0.2 100 0.2 30 compared with videotaped sequences. 'Courtship Cooing', 'Tail Dragging', 50 20 Since these experiments form a part of a 'Driving' and 'Displacement Preening'. In 0.1 50 0.1 10 larger program we also investigated how addition, the duration of 'Parading', 0 0 0 0 0 automated computer scoring compares 'Inflation/Erection of feathers', and 'Total Receptive Non-Receptive Receptive Duck Live Pigeon Video Pigeon Empty Room Live Pigeon Video Pigeon Empty Room with hand scoring of video records. Courtship Duration' were scored. The Male Male Female video tapes of a random sample of test Figure 2: Female Recognition Experiment 2 - Figure 4: Arena Experiment - Proportion Figure 6: Runway Experiment - Proportion trials were scored twice, once by one of Total Courtship Duration. of Cooing and Tail Drags, and Duration of of Cooing and Tail Drags, and Duration of the experimenters and also "blindly" by Waltzing. Waltzing. 2 METHODS another person, yielding an r = 0.996. Experiments 1 and 2: Subjects were 8 Experiments 3 and 4: Experiment 3 was 4 CONCLUSION 100 0.4 Average Velocity (mm/sec) experimentally naive, sexually mature, essentially similar to experiment 1 except 90 0.35 male Homing Pigeons (Columba livia). 1. Both male and female pigeons exhibit robust 80 Frequency (1/sec) that 5 male subjects were used, and three courtship behaviour to video images of 0.3 They were first adapted to the arena, and 70 experimental conditions. These consisted conspecifics of the opposite gender, that is 60 0.25 tested to see if they were attracted to the of (1) a live female bird model, (2) a video- live female model used to produce the essentially similar to that exhibited to live models. 50 0.2 taped version of the same female model, 2. The courtship behaviour contains all of the 40 videotaped stimuli. In experiment 2, 4 and (3) a video of an empty room. In 0.15 female birds were tested using equivalent elements seen in natural courtship, "bowing", 30 Experiment 4 a narrow walkway was 0.1 conditions to the males. "cooing", "waltzing", "tail-dragging" and 20 substituted for the open arena, so that "charging". 10 0.05 videotaped records of the male birds 3. The same courtship behaviour is exhibited in 0 0 behaviour could be "standardized" for an arena and runway. Live Pigeon Video Pigeon Empty Room Live Pigeon Video Pigeon Empty Room easy automatic computer analysis of 4. Automated computer scoring of courtship records. The same three stimulus responses is feasible and reliable. Figure 7: Automated Scoring in the Arena Figure 8: Automated Scoring in the Arena conditions used in Experiment 3 were 5. These data, together with our detailed Experiment - Average Velocity of Movement Experiment - Frequency of Half Circles ethograms (see poster ...) will be critical for the of the Pigeon's Path. (Waltzing). construction of our virtual pigeon for future "neuroethological studies".
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