Sibling Cooperation, Not Rivalry, in the Nest

We thought they cared about each other and it turns out, they actually do! A barn owlet squawks less when it knows its sibling is hungrier. Once the hungry sibling has been fed, an owlet will increase its own squawking. How sweet is that? (Okay, I know it is part of a survival strategy, but still, much more sibling bonding and cooperation than I ever would have thought to see in raptors.)

1 comment:

  1. I suspect that species whose members depend on each other later in life, for training in such things as hunting, are more likely to bond in various ways. They are social animals first, raptors much later. (A bird such as the Cowbird, which has no family life except competing for food, is going to be meaner to other birds.)

    These owls are well armed but appear never to damage each other or the parents. Our own species is not well armed to begin with, so we haven't these intrinsic inhibitions on damage. Even though we are extremely social, we have not grown into our weapons.