I read some surprising articles on birds... one study showed that birds can have distinct personalities – some are aggressive, exploratory, while some are shy and afraid.. their stress levels when faced with an unfamiliar object in their environment were measured and co-related to different personality types – the fearful birds had high stress levels, and the adventurous ones had lower stress levels !
|Attribution: Simon Carey|
Empathy, or “feeling another’s pain”, has long been thought to be the providence of humans and, according to some research, other mammals. In an experiment, Domestic hens were separated from their chicks but allowed to observe that puffs of air were being directed at the youngsters. The hens became very alert, ceased preening, and began vocalizing at their chicks. They also exhibited physiological changes, including a drop in eye temperature and a rise in heart-rate…both signs of stress.
The author of the article writes that this new information raises the possibility that empathy, as a trait, may have evolved far earlier than was previously believed. Its presence in birds opens the door to intriguing questions…according to one biologist, we may be looking at a 200 million year old characteristic that is rooted in reptile evolution. So will we next be looking at empathetic reptiles ?!
|Attribution : https://commons.wikimedia.org/|
And in the last study I read, Researchers found that birds expressing strong personality traits, such as aggressive behaviour or a willingness to explore, did a much better job of raising young if they had a like-minded partner. Where couples were markedly different in personality, chicks didn’t fare as well – being less well-fed and in poorer condition. The study found that if birds were highly exploratory and their partners shared that trait, their offspring were in really good condition. It was the same for highly aggressive birds. If only one parent showed the trait, the chicks fared less well.
|Attribution : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/|
In a comment below one of the articles was this touching story :
I used to feed wild rainbow lorikeets in Sydney and can give an example of these birds displaying empathy.One of the birds that I used to feed only had the top part of his beak. I would provide him with a soft feed mix because he could not eat apples like the others. I fed him for about 7 years. One time after not visiting for a few days he arrived with another lorriket that I had not seen before and this bird too only had half a beak. I was blown away that he was looking out for another with the same problem he had.rsonality