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Risk-averse foraging by bananaquits on negative energy budgets

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Adult bananaquits on negative energy budgets were presented with a patch containing two flower types with identical mean rewards, but different variances. The flower patch contained a random array of 85 yellow and 85 red artificial flowers. Flowers of one color were filled with the same quantity of nectar (constant flowers); flowers of the other color were filled with variable quantities of nectar (variable flowers). In the first series of experiments the birds were given three presentations, followed by three more presentations with the flower colors reversed, to control for color preferences. Some individuals were occasionally indifferent during a presentation, but overall the birds significantly preferred the constant flowers. In the second series of experiments two birds were give five presentations of the floral patch during a day at a rate less than minimally required to meet all 24-h energy costs. In all experiments, bananaquits on negative energy budgets were either indifferent or risk-averse, but never risk-prone. The absence of risk-prone foraging might be attributed to resource dispersion pattern, reward skew, or a species characteristic.

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Wunderle, J.M., Castro, M.S. & Fetcher, N. Risk-averse foraging by bananaquits on negative energy budgets. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 21, 249–255 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00292506

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  • Energy Cost
  • Constant Flower
  • Flower Color
  • Variable Quantity
  • Energy Budget