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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 10, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Scott M. Ramsay

Determinants of Social Dominance in Female Black-capped Chickadees.

Scott M. Ramsay & Laurene M. Ratcliffe

published: 2003 | Research publication | Chickadees

Our results show that captive female chickadees that enjoy prior residency in an aviary are more likely to be dominant to intruders in dyadic interactions, supporting the owner–intruder hypothesis. We found no support for the resourcevalue hypothesis, based on the competitive abilities of food deprived individuals. Although our results cannot separate the effects of residency and resource value among owners, motivation for food was clearly insufficient to overcome prior residents’ advantage for intruders. Our post-hoc analyses suggested that body size and condition by themselves are poor predictors of dominance status. Thus, we have no support for the resource holding potential hypothesis based on these interactions.

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