Publication

Aggression among Hooded Robins Melanodryas cucullata and other birds


Male Hooded Robins Melanodryas cucullata displayed more aggression towards conspecifics than did females, and may be involved in more aggression with other species. Intraspecific aggression was infrequent, with 2.5 acts per hour, probably because the species occurs at low density and most groups have few neighbours. Most interspecific aggression was directed at ecologically similar ground or aerial foraging insectivores, such as other robins, Jacky Winters Microeca fascinans and Willie Wagtails Rhipidura leucophrys. This could have been due to misdirected intraspecific aggression, as these species resemble either male or female Hooded Robins, or due to potential competition for food. Smaller ground-feeding insectivores, such as thornbills, were also the recipients of Hooded Robin aggression. Several interactions involved the notoriously aggressive honeyeaters, though Robins were often the aggressor rather than recipient of aggression. Robins sometimes attacked potential nest predators, such as Laughing Kookaburras Dacelo novaeguineae. Female Robins showed injury-feigning behaviour to an intruding Kookaburra and often to people near to her nest.

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