fredag 3 maj 2013

Visiting students

Today we were visited by students from the course in Ecology of behaviour/ethology at Lund University. Mathias usually gives some lectures on this course, and the students come for a field trip to the raven facility.

Without the extra human friendly Siden and Juno, the raven group was a bit more scared of new people, and the students stayed inside the cabin until the birds had calmed down.

The assignment for the students was to decide the dominance hierarchy of the group, which is not necessarily an easy task. For exapmle, the lowest ranked bird of the whole group is None - but as she is friendly with people and not afraid of them, she was merrily hopping around, vocalizing and displaying. And as the others are more afraid of visitors, no one tells her off, and it's easy to get the impression that she is a dominant bird.
To not disturb the breeding pair, we had sealed off their part of the aviary from the visitors, and it turned out fine. No alarm calls or attacks - they just continued with their time consuming task....feeding their young who seem to grow by the minute!

Anders Brodin, Professor Evolutionary Ecology (course coordinator) & Mathias

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