Budgerigars adopt robust, but idiosyncratic flight paths.


:We have investigated the paths taken by Budgerigars while flying in a tunnel. The flight trajectories of nine Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) were reconstructed in 3D from high speed stereo videography of their flights in an obstacle-free tunnel. Individual birds displayed highly idiosyncratic flight trajectories that were consistent from flight to flight over the course of several months. We then investigated the robustness of each bird's trajectory by interposing a disk-shaped obstacle in its preferred flight path. We found that each bird continued to fly along its preferred trajectory up to a point very close to the obstacle before veering over the obstacle rapidly, making a minimal deviation to avoid a collision, and subsequently returning to its original path. Thus, Budgerigars show a high propensity to stick to their individual, preferred flight paths even when confronted with a clearly visible obstacle, and do not adopt a substantially different, unobstructed route. The robust preference for idiosyncratic flight paths, and the tendency to pass obstacles by flying above them, provide new insights into the strategies that underpin obstacle avoidance in birds. We believe that this is the first carefully controlled study of the behaviour of birds in response to a newly introduced obstacle in their flight path. The insights from the study could also have implications for conservation efforts to mitigate collisions of birds with man-made obstacles.


Sci Rep


Scientific reports


Karmaker D,Groening J,Wilson M,Schiffner I,Srinivasan MV




Has Abstract


2020-02-13 00:00:00












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