Ethogram Lab Report Insert Insert Insert S Observation: 5th April Species: Robin Chat (Bird) The observation was carried out in the afternoon in a vegetative environment with plenty of litter leaves, while the bird was moving around, hoping in search of food.
Stance and posture
The bird flaps its wings up and down evenly and relatively fast Runs before taking off in flight. Wags tail side to side when perched.
Hunts from a perch and catches insects in flight. Also walks on the ground turning over fallen leaves in search of prey.
On the ground/on a branch
Moves in a combination of runs and hops. Hops from branch to branch while on a tree. Moves tail from side to side
Calls when it spots food or in the presence of an intruder. By so doing every other bird responds with a somehow similar call and flies towards the food source or away from the enemy
Spotted in groups, varying from as little as four to a number like ten. Individuals in isolation rarely spotted
The following practices were observed on the birds.
Preening/plumage care performed frequently on the feathers by use of the beak
Spraying themselves on shallow waters by flapping the wings (bathing)
Using the foot to scratch the head
Airing themselves in the sun while lifting their wings
Territorial and Social Behaviors
A group of birds, presumed to be males could be spotted in shinny feathers, singing and calling. They were probably on display so as to attract female birds for reproductive purposes
Hunting in groups for security purposes
Pairs of birds could be seen constructing nests and feeding their young
Ethogram Lab Report
An observation was conducted on the afternoon of 5th April 2013, in a vegetative backyard, composed of trees which form a habitat for a variety of birds, with plenty of litter leaves underneath. Apparently, the bird was at its most active time of the day going about its activities of food collection and socializing. The species in observation is the robin chat.
Some distinct behaviors were observed, common to members of this species. These included movement on hunting whereby specific pattern of movement was observed when the bird was flying, perched and on-ground. The bird flies with regular, up and down undulations of the wings, hops from branch to branch and swings its tail from side to side while on a perched (standstill) position.
This is a carnivorous species which feeds on insects, both flying and crawling. This species specifically hunts its prey in-flight through abrupt flight from a perch. However, it also hops from branch to branch in search of food and at the same time runs along the ground alternating with regular hops, while turning over leaves in check of crawling insects hidden underneath.
The second common behavior was that I would call ‘grooming’, whereby many of the birds could be spotted lining out their plumage, shaking of dust from their feathers, picking oil from their tails and applying it along the feathers and washing by beating their wings up and down on a water surface. Others of these behaviors can be termed ‘recreational’ for example when the bird lays itself under direct sunlight and opens up its wings to enable heat penetration in between its wing and body. Most of these grooming and recreational behaviors are individual, but, social behaviors could also be observed.
These include cases where male birds, more bright in colours were spotted on display singing together. This is a characteristic of the mating period, when males go on display to attract females to mate with, hence leading to reproduction. Nesting is the next social behavior when two birds, presumable male and female are spotted combining efforts to construct a nest where the eggs will be laid, hatched and the young ones raised from. Response to calls was evident as to alert others of the discovery of a food patch or alert in case of a n intruder. This could be judged by the kind of response that followed any particular call.
In conclusion, a number of behaviors were observed to be interconnected to the welfare of the species along to its biological processes. These include grooming, which was found out to be playing a big role in the reproductive process of the birds. Good grooming is what attracted the females to the males for mating reasons. Also the calls to notify of food and warn of danger played a big role in easening of collaborative hunting as well as ensuring safety to all in the process. Calls are also discovered to result to cross-gender attractions. Each movement depending on whether the bird was hunting on flight or on the ground was to get the task done in the most efficient way to increase its possibility of catching the pray.
Tudge, Colin. The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From &. How They Live. New York: Crown, 2009.