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Data from: Multiple effects of weather on common waxbill group foraging and social behavior

Cite this dataset

Beltrão, Patrícia et al. (2024). Data from: Multiple effects of weather on common waxbill group foraging and social behavior [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.31zcrjdrv

Abstract

The weather poses challenges for wildlife. Environmental challenges can be responded to at the group level by social animals, but the influence of weather on group behavior is poorly understood. We investigated how the weather affects behavior in a gregarious species by monitoring common waxbills (Estrilda astrild) in a large mesocosm during five years. We found seasonal patterns on collective foraging, aggressiveness, and the structure of the social network, usually showing two cycles per year: one peaking in Spring and a smaller one in late Summer. Controlling for seasonality, we found behavioral changes related to increased energy demands on colder and/or cloudier days, such as more frequent and larger foraging groups that resulted in less structured social networks. Rain and wind disturb movement, and we found that on rainy days foraging group journeys became briefer and more synchronous, resulting in stronger associations between individuals and less structured networks, and that on windy days foraging groups were less frequent, larger, and with more within-group aggression. The results show that the weather has more varied effects than anticipated on ecologically-relevant group behavior. We discuss how such weather-related effects can improve predictions of how social animals will react to environmental changes.

README: Data from 'Multiple effects of weather on common waxbill group foraging and social behavior' (Beltrão et al. 2024, Behavioral Ecology).

Created in June 2023 by Patrícia Beltrão (pbsantospt@cibio.up.pt).

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. Title: Data from: Multiple effects of weather on common waxbill group foraging and social behavior
  2. Authors: Patrícia Beltrão (1,2), Ana Cristina R. Gomes (1,2,3), Beatriz C. Saldanha (1,2), Fernando P. Lima (1,2) & Gonçalo C. Cardoso (1,2) (1) CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Campus de Vairão, Universidade do Porto, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal (2) BIOPOLIS Program in Genomics, Biodiversity and Land Planning, CIBIO, Campus de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal (3) Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. Data collection: 2018 - 2022
  4. Funding sources: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/BIAECO/32210/2017, DL57/2016/CP1440/CT0011, SFRH/BD/129002/2017, SFRH/BD/148392/2019).
  5. Citation for this dataset: Beltrão, Gomes, Saldanha, Lima & Cardoso (2023), Data from: Multiple effects of weather on common waxbill group foraging and social behavior, Dryad, Dataset

FILE OVERVIEW

  1. Description of datasets

Datasets for the behavioral and weather metrics used in the research article.
2. File List:

File: ‘data.RData’
Description: Contains 3 data frames with behavioral and weather data.

METHODOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Behavioral data was collected through a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system (Dorset ID, The Netherlands) that monitored the attendance of common waxbills in feeders and perches with RFID antennae.
All birds had a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag.

Aggressive displacements were computed with the function available in Beltrão et al. 2021 (doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2021.09.011)

INFORMATION FOR: ‘data.RData’

The file has three data frames: (1) daily_response_var, (2) weekly_response_var, and (3) climatic_predictors.

daily_response_var
Description: Date and response variables computed per day

  • Total time all birds spent at the feeders, in seconds, divided by the number of individuals recorded in the RFID system;
  • Number of foraging groups;
  • Mean duration of foraging groups, in minutes;
  • Mean size of foraging groups;
  • Aggressiveness - number of aggressive displacements by each individual, divided by the total time it spent at the feeders, in minutes, averaged across the population ).

weekly_response_var
Description: Week of the year and response variables computed per week

  • Mean strength of associations;
  • Coefficient of variation of the strengths of associations;
  • Network entropy;
  • Steepness of dominance hierarchy (repeatability of the randomized Elo-ratings).

weather_predictors
Description: Date and weather predictors

  • Temperature (ºC);
  • Cloud Cover (%);
  • Precipitation (kg/m2);
  • Wind speed (m/s);
  • Relative Humidity (%).

Funding

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Award: PTDC/BIAECO/32210/2017

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Award: DL57/2016/CP1440/CT0011

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Award: SFRH/BD/129002/2017

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Award: SFRH/BD/148392/2019