Academic Field

Environmental Sciences, Study, Engineering

Faculty Mentor Name

Chris Norment

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is an introduced, invasive species commonly viewed as undesirable in North America. However, the characteristics that make them such successful pests also make them ideal study species. Their intelligence and curiosity, as well as their lack of fear toward humans, allows for clear observation of behavior and easy access to nestlings. This study of neophobic behavior (avoidance of novel objects) and life history traits provides insight into reaction patterns of House Sparrows, making room for generalizations about similar populations, as well as useful information about breeding biology. In the study population females were more hesitant to approach the unfamiliar object compared to males, and nestling growth demonstrated a linear correlation instead of the more common exponential growth of other species. This information supports more robust studies in the future by expanding knowledge of this frequently used study species.

Keywords

Neophobia, breeding biology, life history, House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, novel object, growth rate

Start Date

10-4-2015 9:30 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 11:00 AM

Location

Hartwell Hall 120

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Apr 10th, 9:30 AM Apr 10th, 11:00 AM

Neophobic behavior and life history traits of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

Hartwell Hall 120

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is an introduced, invasive species commonly viewed as undesirable in North America. However, the characteristics that make them such successful pests also make them ideal study species. Their intelligence and curiosity, as well as their lack of fear toward humans, allows for clear observation of behavior and easy access to nestlings. This study of neophobic behavior (avoidance of novel objects) and life history traits provides insight into reaction patterns of House Sparrows, making room for generalizations about similar populations, as well as useful information about breeding biology. In the study population females were more hesitant to approach the unfamiliar object compared to males, and nestling growth demonstrated a linear correlation instead of the more common exponential growth of other species. This information supports more robust studies in the future by expanding knowledge of this frequently used study species.