For my master project I will study the learning behavior of naive Siberian jay (Perisoreus infaustus) chicks. Social birds have the opportunity to learn skills from others through social learning or less often through active teaching. A group of Siberian jays consists of a breeding pair, retained offspring and immigrated individuals. The parents show a nepotistic behavior towards their offspring and therefore I propose that naïve offspring learn to solve artificial foraging tasks faster than the naïve immigrant individuals. From an evolutionary perspective this kind of behavior can be favored by kin selection. By looking at the effect of habitat quality on the occurrence of the behavior of teaching I try to understand the role of ecology for the evolution of social learning.
|Specialized Master's Program in Environmental Sciences, University of Zürich
|Bsc. of Science in Biology, University of Zürich