The development of caching behavior, cache site and cache item defense tactics, and cache site and cache item sharing in orphaned fledgling blue jays (cyanocitta cristata) at a songbird rehabilitation center
Open Access Thesis
Master of Science (MS)
Peter Bednekoff, PhD, Chair
Cara Shillington, PhD
Howard Booth, PhD
One of the primary goals of songbird rehabilitators is to promote controllable factors that increase survivorship in orphaned songbirds upon to release. As caching serves an important function in corvid life, this study sought to determine if this behavior would develop with or without outside input. Eight orphaned blue jays (consisting of both hatchlings and nestlings) were brought into the care of the Bird Center of Washtenaw County, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Birds were videotaped and observed for the development of caching behavior, cache item and cache site sharing, and cache defense tactics. Caching behavior and cache defense tactics all developed without parental or caretaker input, regardless of age at which birds were received. Cache site sharing and theft tolerance occurred with all cohorts but at varying frequency. This study recommends that blue jay release criteria include the development of food hoarding behavior.
Martinez, DeAnna, "The development of caching behavior, cache site and cache item defense tactics, and cache site and cache item sharing in orphaned fledgling blue jays (cyanocitta cristata) at a songbird rehabilitation center" (2008). Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. 241.