Active but asocial

Exploration and activity is linked to social behaviour in a colonially breeding finch

Luke S C McCowan*, Simon C. Griffith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


One largely neglected area of personality research is an individual's propensity to move and feed alongside others. We monitored the foraging behaviour of captive zebra finches in social groups in large enclosures using a PIT-tag system, and also separately assayed activity levels in a home cage with a social partner.We found that more active individuals found novel feeders more quickly (explored faster). Furthermore, we found that more active males fed less socially than inactive males. Our findings suggest that variation in foraging behaviour in the zebra finch is driven by both personality and social factors. This work suggests that degrees of sociality - the intrinsic propensity with which individuals interact and coordinate their activity with other conspecifics - is an important component of personality, and needs to be accounted for in future work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1145-1167
Number of pages23
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2015


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