Stress makes young birds fly the nest sooner – and encourages them to be more sociable in later life, new research has shown.
A study published yesterday by scientists at the universities of St Andrews and Oxford found zebra finches which were stressed as nestlings were less choosy about who they visited bird feeders with in later life, and so had more associates.
This made them better placed for finding food in winter when supplies became scarce.
Neeltje Boogert, who led the study, said the research could have important implications for determining how populations respond to increasingly disturbed and variable environments. Continue reading