Effect of Conspecific and Heterospecific Video Playback on Food Consumption in Budgerigars and Bengalese Finches
Y. Ikkatai & Y. Seki
Both budgerigars and Bengalese finches are small and relatively easy to care for, so they are popular pets in Japan and other countries. These avian species have been also used in laboratory experiments, often for communication studies. Many such studies have used video images of birds to measure behavioral responses in subject birds. Recent studies in budgerigars reported behavioral contagion and imitation using visual instruments (e.g., video images), while no reports have been made in Bengalese finches thus far. Here, we investigated the effects of video playback of other birdsf feeding behavior on food consumption in budgerigars and Bengalese finches. We found that feeding videos of conspecific birds facilitated feeding in budgerigars, but not in Bengalese finches, and that this facilitation was only observed with video images of conspecific birds. Our findings suggest that video images are effective for social facilitation and behavioral contagion in budgerigars but not in Bengalese finches.

Key words: video images, social facilitation, feeding, species comparison