Subordinates Must Wait


Department of Zoology, University of Auckland, Private Bag, Auckland, New Zealand

Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, Albany, N.Y. 12222, U.S.A.


Direct advantages for dominant Mexican jays, Aphelocoma ultramarina, were investigated at an artificial food source. The time birds spent waiting to gain access to the food was used to test the prediction that access time and its variance would increase with a decrease in status. The number of feedings/h was also recorded to determine if, as a consequence of longer ‘wait’ times, these declined with a decline in status.