Abstract and Summary
Since the adaptive significance of social organization is emphasized diversely in both anti-predator behaviour and food searching of birds, measures and comparisons of observational learning capacity of various species are needed.
Four different experimental situations were built up for juvenile and adult individuals of tits (Parus major, P. caeruleus, P. palustris) and thrushes (Turdus merula, T. philo-melos).
The birds learn more easily from conspecifics and learn easily when they already know a previous problem solving situation. The capacity of observational learning of the adult great tits surpasses that of adult blue tits and marsh tits, and that of the adult blackbirds exceeds that of the adult songthrushes. The higher performance of the great tit and blackbird can be related to their greater hemispheric index.
The differences in the learning capacity of the naive individuals of the three tit species and that of the two thrush species were not significant. It is suggested, that the higher observational learning of the great tit and blackbird is evolved through maturational processes and can be reflected by their greater adaptability.