Meeting Abstract

41-5  Friday, Jan. 5 09:00 - 09:15  Foraging coordination while feeding young: behavioural mechanisms underlying negotiation over offspring care BALDAN, D*; HINDE, C. A.; LESSELLS, C.M.; Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), P.O. Box 50, 6700 AB Wageningen, The Netherlands; Behavioural Ecology Group, Life Sciences, University of Wageningen, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH, Wageningen, The Netherlands; Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), P.O. Box 50, 6700 AB Wageningen, The Netherlands D.Baldan@nioo.knaw.nl

The amount of parental care provided to offspring is affected by sexual conflict and the negotiation rules that parents adopt. Recently, a ‘turn-taking’ provisioning rule by the parents has been predicted to increase parental care, and several empirical studies in birds indicate that parents do indeed alternate their nest-visits more than expected by chance. However, little is known as to whether parents actively take turns of feed and how they monitor the provisioning activity of the mate. We proposed two mechanisms by which parents monitor and respond to each other: coordination of foraging trips and monitoring at the nest (e.g. by waiting at the nest for the partner). We combined video recordings at the nests with Encounternet, a new automated radio-tracking technology, to remotely monitor provisioning activity of wild great tit (Parus major) pairs during chick rearing. We explored i) whether parents forage in spatial proximity or monitor each other at the nest, and ii) how these two behaviours relate to the pattern of the nest visits. This study links animal movement analysis to visit patterns at the nest and highlights the importance of studying the behavioural mechanisms underlying negotiation rules to better understand the evolution and maintenance of bi-parental care.