Skip to Main Content
card with the word mindfulness laying against a window

  • Science Cafe: Understanding Avian Social Organization: How individuals and social structure contribute to avian societies, featuring Dr. Greg Kohn, UNF Psychology Department. Like mammals, birds form complex groups with long term, often lifetime, relationships. However, our understanding of the social and developmental processes shaping the emergence of avian social structure are not well known. Many vertebrates inhabit dynamic and loosely structured groups where group size and social composition continually fluctuates. The ability to sustain nonrandom interaction preferences across such changes is important for maintaining social organization over time. Despite this, we know little about the development of individual social preferences that ultimately give rise to a group’s social organization. Dr. Kohn will present a series of studies that highlight how the development of stable female social interaction networks in Brown-headed Cowbirds, Gouldian Finches, Roseate Spoonbills and Budgerigars shapes the organization of flocks, and often predicts individual reproductive outcomes. These findings highlight how within-group interactions define the complex structure of avian societies and can select for individual behavioral traits.