Detalle Publicación

The effect of early experiences in barn owl (Tyto alba) behaviour. Acquisition-expression time of neophobia and filial imprinting. Implications for management and conservation

Título de la revista: BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES
ISSN: 0376-6357
Volumen: 195
Páginas: 104569
Fecha de publicación: 2022
In birds, early experiences determine the later behavioural phenotype of individuals and their way of adapting to the challenges they encounter in their environment. We investigated how the degree of exposure of barn owl chicks to humans and their biological parents influenced their behavioural response to humans and different environments. Only the treatment groups raised by human beings, or those that remained for less time with their biological parents (15 days posthatching), learned to fly towards their trainer. However, the two groups of chicks that were raised the longest by their biological parents (20 and 25 days) never flew towards their trainer. In these last groups, the filial imprint was shown not to be able to be reversed. Neophobia was estimated to emerge between 17 and 19 days of age, as barn owls were able to recognize the environment in which they were habituated, showing fear of a new environment. Birds were able to recognize the person who raised them and objects with which they had been raised. The results obtained in this work can help to establish breeding protocols in this and other species of birds of prey, which improve their adaptability to the environment where they will live, whether in captivity or in the wild.