Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A.


This study examined how perception of predator cues, across three sensory modalities, affects physiology and behaviour of songbirds. I hypothesized that the perception of predator threat would elicit physiological and behavioural responses in both acute and chronic exposure conditions. My first study examined the responses of wild-caught black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus), as well as lab-bred zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), to acute predation cue exposure by coding video recorded behaviour and corticosterone analysis. My second study examined changes in black-capped chickadees’ foraging behaviour and memory retention after chronic exposure to acoustic predation cues. There were no strong effects of the predator cue exposure on behaviour, corticosterone, or memory retention. This study expands on and fills gaps from the previous literature by examining different modalities of perception and predator effects on spatial memory abilities.

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