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Dynamic table-visiting behavior of birds at outdoor restaurants and cafés
Nature Division, Government of Jönköping Province, Jönköping, Sweden; Department of Natural Sciences, Linneaus University, Kalmar, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
Nature Division, Government of Jönköping Province, Jönköping, Sweden.
2021 (English)In: Ethology, ISSN 0179-1613, E-ISSN 1439-0310, Vol. 127, no 7, p. 505-516Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fear of humans and its effect on animal behavior is increasingly being recognized as an important structuring force in ecological landscapes, with consequences for ecological interactions and communities. When aggressive, physically dominant species are displaced by anthropogenic disturbance, physically weaker species exploit competitor and predator downtimes to forage in previously risky places. Birds feeding at outdoor restaurants and cafés in association with humans are exposed to fluctuating levels of perceived danger caused by frequently changing densities of human diners. Consequently, birds must make decisions about which dining tables to visit based on trade-offs between foraging gain and perceived danger from avian competitors and humans. We tested the hypothesis that interspecific differences in response to perceived danger, combined with varying densities of human diners, dynamically alter which bird species predominates at dining tables. We found that house sparrows (Passer domesticus) tolerated higher human diner-densities than larger-sized, more physically dominant Eurasian jackdaws (Coloeus monedula). Sparrows were usually the first birds to visit diner-occupied tables and spent more time there than jackdaws. However, at diner-abandoned tables, this pattern changed: During low diner-densities at surrounding tables, jackdaws were usually the predominant species in first visits and minutes spent visiting, while at high diner-densities sparrows usually predominated. Moreover, along a gradient of increasing human diner-density, sparrows gradually replaced jackdaws as the predominant species in first visits and time at abandoned tables. However, at diner-occupied tables, once a sparrow chose which table to visit, factors other than diner-density influenced its choice of where to forage there (table-top or ground). To our knowledge, our research is the first scientific study of table-visiting behavior by birds at outdoor restaurants and cafés, and the first to reveal interspecific differences in table-visiting behavior by birds there.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2021. Vol. 127, no 7, p. 505-516
Keywords [en]
anthropogenic disturbance, behavior and ecosystem services, feeding associations, human ecology, temporal interactions, urban ecology
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-183577DOI: 10.1111/eth.13145ISI: 000645937300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85105231658OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-183577DiVA, id: diva2:1559569
Available from: 2021-06-02 Created: 2021-06-02 Last updated: 2021-12-30Bibliographically approved

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Sjöstedt de Luna, Sara

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Citation style
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