The Effect of Age and Sex on Object Exploration and Manipulative Behavior in a Neotropical Raptor, the Chimango Caracara, Milvago chimango

Authors

  • Laura Marina Biondi,

    Corresponding author
    • Laboratorio de Vertebrados, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina
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  • Jorgelina Guido,

    1. Laboratorio de Vertebrados, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina
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  • Enrique Madrid,

    1. Laboratorio de Vertebrados, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina
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  • María Susana Bó,

    1. Laboratorio de Vertebrados, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina
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  • Aldo Iván Vassallo

    1. Laboratorio de Ecofisiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina
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Correspondence

Laura Marina Biondi, Laboratorio de Vertebrados, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3250, Mar del Plata (B7602AYJ) 53150, Argentina.

E-mail: lmbiondi@mdp.edu.ar

Abstract

We studied object exploration and manipulative behavior in wild-caught Chimango Caracaras (Milvago chimango), an opportunistic and generalist raptor species, in relation to age and sex differences. Each bird was presented with six objects. We then recorded the latencies to approach and first contact with the objects, the number of objects explored, and the number of exploration events performed on each object. Age influenced the tendency to explore in M. chimango. Compared with adults, juveniles were more likely to explore the objects, approaching and contacting them more quickly. The number of objects explored was also higher in young than adult birds. Both age classes used a variety of manipulative behaviors to explore the objects, some of which have been described as play in others studies. Sex did not affect an individual's likelihood to explore or the number and frequency of manipulative behaviors used during object exploration. The tendency for both young and adult birds to explore and manipulate objects that not resemble prey is likely to be a distinct advantage for a generalist species like M. chimango which must cope with a high diversity of modified environments.

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