News & Events

Here you can find some recent news and events, as well as a selection of recent papers and any new members that have joined the EGI.

Recent Video

Bird Ringing Demonstration at Farmoor Res Oxon, 25th February 2012

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Most Recent Research Highlights

» The socio-ecology of fear: How predators shape the social relationships of great titsSeptember 19, 2016

Voelk.Picture1forEGI HighlightA new paper published in Scientific Reports by Bernhard Voelkl, Josh Firth & Ben Sheldon investigated how perceived predator pressure influences group composition and social relationships in flocks of British tits. In this experimental study the authors used model sparrowhawks to launch attacks on flocks of wild great tits and blue tits whilst monitoring their social dynamics. Non-lethal attacks caused instantaneous turn-over and mixing of group composition within foraging flocks. A single experimental ‘attack’ lasting on average less than three seconds, caused the amount of turn-over expected over three hours (2.0—3.8 hours) of undisturbed foraging, suggesting that nonlethal predator effects can greatly alter group composition within populations. This has implications for the birds’ social behaviour by increasing the number of potential interaction partners, as well as longer-term consequences for pair formation and emergent effects determined by social structure. This study provides the first evidence based on in depth monitoring of a social network that predators influence the social structure of groups, and it offers new perspectives on the key drivers of social behaviour in wild populations. Link to paper here.

Most Recent News Story

» “The ‘birdman’ of Wytham Woods”August 4, 2016

BCS 2014“Enter an ecologist’s playground with the birdman of Wytham Woods” is a piece in this week’s New Scientist about the Wytham Tit Project. Link to article here.