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Collective decision making and social interaction rules in mixed-species flocks of songbirds

Overview of attention for article published in Animal Behaviour, September 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (93rd percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (82nd percentile)

Mentioned by

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35 tweeters

Citations

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39 Dimensions

Readers on

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176 Mendeley
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Title
Collective decision making and social interaction rules in mixed-species flocks of songbirds
Published in
Animal Behaviour, September 2014
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.07.008
Pubmed ID
Authors

Damien R. Farine, Lucy M. Aplin, Colin J. Garroway, Richard P. Mann, Ben C. Sheldon

Abstract

Associations in mixed-species foraging groups are common in animals, yet have rarely been explored in the context of collective behaviour. Despite many investigations into the social and ecological conditions under which individuals should form groups, we still know little about the specific behavioural rules that individuals adopt in these contexts, or whether these can be generalized to heterospecifics. Here, we studied collective behaviour in flocks in a community of five species of woodland passerine birds. We adopted an automated data collection protocol, involving visits by RFID-tagged birds to feeding stations equipped with antennae, over two winters, recording 91 576 feeding events by 1904 individuals. We demonstrated highly synchronized feeding behaviour within patches, with birds moving towards areas of the patch with the largest proportion of the flock. Using a model of collective decision making, we then explored the underlying decision rule birds may be using when foraging in mixed-species flocks. The model tested whether birds used a different decision rule for conspecifics and heterospecifics, and whether the rules used by individuals of different species varied. We found that species differed in their response to the distribution of conspecifics and heterospecifics across foraging patches. However, simulating decisions using the different rules, which reproduced our data well, suggested that the outcome of using different decision rules by each species resulted in qualitatively similar overall patterns of movement. It is possible that the decision rules each species uses may be adjusted to variation in mean species abundance in order for individuals to maintain the same overall flock-level response. This is likely to be important for maintaining coordinated behaviour across species, and to result in quick and adaptive flock responses to food resources that are patchily distributed in space and time.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 35 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 176 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 5 3%
United States 3 2%
Spain 2 1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Bulgaria 1 <1%
Unknown 162 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 49 28%
Student > Master 33 19%
Researcher 29 16%
Student > Bachelor 21 12%
Unspecified 11 6%
Other 33 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 110 63%
Environmental Science 19 11%
Unspecified 19 11%
Psychology 5 3%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 2%
Other 19 11%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 21. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 May 2016.
All research outputs
#756,331
of 13,456,694 outputs
Outputs from Animal Behaviour
#439
of 4,181 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#13,142
of 198,884 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Animal Behaviour
#7
of 40 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,456,694 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,181 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.8. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 198,884 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 40 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its contemporaries.