Personalities Of Mated Pairs And Parental Provisioning Coordination In Eastern Bluebirds

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chloe Burdick (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Lynn Siefferman

Abstract: Animal personality is characterized by consistent similar reactions by an individual across contexts and time. Although individual personality is known to influence fitness, the extent to which similarity of pair personality influences fitness in monogamous animals with a system of bi-parental care is not well studied. Previous research from my focal population demonstrated that eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) that are mated pairs display similar personalities (as measured by aggression toward conspecifics) and that those with similarity personalities produced higher-quality offspring in highly competitive environments. However, the mechanisms behind this trend are not well studied. In Chapter 2, I document that individual bluebirds also show repeatable behavior traits (animal personality) when measured as parental defense aggression and parental provisioning to offspring. Further, I show that mated pairs of bluebirds tend to display similar personalities. In Chapter 3, I demonstrate that parental coordination of parental provisioning behavior and, thereby, reproductive success is influenced by the local community of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), a novel (~40 years) and invasive interspecific competitor. Overall, my thesis suggests that pair behavior may allow parents to coordinate feeding behavior more equitably and that this can improve fitness in a context dependent way.

Additional Information

Burdick, C. (2018). "Personalities Of Mated Pairs And Parental Provisioning Coordination In Eastern Bluebirds." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Animal Personality, Parental Care, Nest Defense, Provisioning, Interspecific Competition

Email this document to