Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Migratory and resident blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus differ in their reaction to a novel object

  • Anna L. K. Nilsson
  • Jan-Åke Nilsson
  • Thomas Alerstam
  • Johan Bäckman
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 981-985
Publication/Series: Naturwissenschaften
Volume: 97
Issue: 11
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Individuals differ consistently in their behavioural reactions towards novel objects and new situations. Reaction to novelty is one part of a suit of individually consistent behaviours called coping strategies or personalities and is often summarised as bold or shy behaviour. Coping strategies could be particularly important for migrating birds exposed to novel environments on their journeys. We compared the average approach latencies to a novel object among migrants and residents in partially migratory blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. In this test, we found migrating blue tits to have shorter approach latencies than had resident ones. Behavioural reactions to novelty can affect the readiness to migrate and short approach latency may have an adaptive value during migration. Individual behaviour towards novelty might be incorporated among the factors associated with migratory or resident behaviour in a partially migratory population.


  • Biological Sciences
  • Behavioural
  • Personality
  • Coping strategy
  • Migration
  • Partial migration
  • Approach time to novel object
  • response


  • Centre for Animal Movement Research
  • ISSN: 1432-1904
Thomas Alerstam
E-mail: thomas [dot] alerstam [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 37 85


Sölvegatan 37, Lund