Evaluation of boldness assays and associated behavioral measures in a social parrot, monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

in Behaviour
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Boldness reflects consistent individual differences in risk-taking behavior across various contexts. However, evaluating this basic assumption has largely been neglected in birds. In a captive monk parakeet population (Myiopsitta monachus; N=33), we undertook an analysis of 7 measures across 3 commonly used boldness assays (i.e., novel object, emergence, and predator-exposure tests). Using principal component analysis, we derived 3 components (PCs). PC-2 loaded strongly with measures from emergence and predator-exposure tests; we interpreted it as the closest approximation of boldness. PC-1 and PC-3 described different aspects of feeding such as foraging activity and rate, respectively. Finally, we assessed the predictive power of each measure that loaded significantly on the boldness axis. We found that no single metric explained even %55 of the variation in PC-2, nor could more than %50 individuals at the extremes of the spectrum be predicted. Our results demonstrate the utility of an inclusive approach in personality research.

Evaluation of boldness assays and associated behavioral measures in a social parrot, monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

in Behaviour

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Figures

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    Linear relationship between individual scores from the boldness axis and each of the 3 behavioral measures (transformed values) that loaded significantly on that axis: (A) latency to enter novel environment, (B) total number of vocalizations when exposed to a predator, and (C) total number of flights when exposed to a predator. Individuals that are boldest, shyest, and in-between are represented with different shapes to show how they are clustered (▲, 5 boldest individuals according to PC-2; ●, 5 shyest individuals according to PC-2; +, individuals that are in-between according to PC-2).

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    Boxplots for each behavioural measure (before transformation).

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