EXPERIMENTS ON PAIR BOND STABILITY IN DOMESTIC PIGEONS (COLUMBA LIVIA DOMESTICA) by ANGELIKA WOSEGIEN1,2) (Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany) (Acc. 9-VIII-1996) Summary Many long-lived birds form long-term pair bonds, but they sometimes divorce. Until now most suggestions concerning factors relevant to the stability of the pair bond in birds were based on correlational data, which do not allow conclusions about causal relationships. Here, the probability of divorce in domestic pigeons (Columba livia) was tested experimentally, and separately for both male and female. Breeding success and pair bond duration of pairs was manipulated. After separation from the mate for up to 60 days the subject (female or male) was allowed to court to a new mate for 4 hours. Then the subject was given a choice between the old and the new mate presented simultaneously on either side of the experimental cage. A further possibility to choose between the two mates was given in later stage in the familiar aviary. Female subjects without breeding success showed little courtship towards the old male, especially when they had nest-cooed a lot to the new male during the four hours exposure. In the latter cases they chose
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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