Birds Have Personalities Too!
This month we bring you some bird news that the vast majority of our users will probably already be aware of - but that the science community, and therefore the rest of the world, has only just cottoned on to! I refer, of course, to the fact that not only do humans and animals have personalities, but birds do too! According to Mareike Stowe at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna (Austria), individual birds vary in their levels of curiosity. Some birds are considered to be "fast" explorers whilst others are considered to be "slow." Mareike, a human with an evidently high level of curiosity, found in a recent study that these curiosity levels in birds affect the way they react to stress. Fast birds respond to stress by dramatically increasing their glucocorticoid levels (no, us neither) whilst the slower types show a much more moderate response. Fast birds - such as the Great Tit, known by many as a fairly curious common garden bird - are quick explorers and therefore, comparatively aggressive. Slow birds are more cautious to react. These differences are considered to be determined by genes and as a result, a team of scientists in Holland, have published studies about these behavioural traits - which the more curious amongst our users can read about in the 30th issue of the journal Hormones and Behaviour.