Article: article from journal or magazin.
Nocturnal, diurnal and bimodal patterns of locomotion, sibling interactions and sleep in nestling Barn Owls
Journal of Ornithology
Temporal variation in physical activity is mainly determined by the day-night cycle. While this may be true for diurnal species whose vision at night is often poor, the situation might be more complex in nocturnal animals as many such species can see both in the dark and in the daylight. We examined in Barn Owl (Tyto alba) nestlings whether temporal variation of behavioural activities and sleep is shaped by parental feeding visits occurring during the first part of the night and the extent to which they also occur during daylight hours. We measured several behaviours in 280 individuals from 90 broods recorded in 4 years. Parental feeding visits progressively declined in frequency from the beginning to the end of the night, and a number of offspring behaviours followed the same pattern of activity (feeding, vocalization and self-preening). Surprisingly, nestlings were awake not only at sunset, but also at sunrise. Several behaviours (locomotion, wing flapping and sibling interactions, such as pecking and allopreening among nestlings) showed peaks of activity at sunset and sunrise, suggesting that they were performed for other reasons than to interact with parents. Allopreening was performed more often during the day than at night. We conclude that although adult Barn Owls are nocturnal, nestlings display a complex temporal pattern of activity that is governed not only by feeding but also by other unknown factors.
Barn Owl, Behaviour, Bimodality, Diel organization, Ontogeny, Sleep
Web of science
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