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Mechanisms of cache retrieval in long-term hoarding birds

Brodin, Anders LU (2005) In Journal of Ethology 23(2). p.77-83
Abstract
Food hoarding and memory have primarily been studied in two bird families, the Corvidae (crows, jays, nutcrackers, etc.) and the Paridae (tits, titmice and chickadees). In both families there are species that hoard large quantities of seeds and nuts in the autumn and depend on these stores during the winter. Caches are concealed or highly inconspicuous and the most efficient way to retrieve them is to remember the exact locations. However, a long-term memory for a large number of caches may be physiologically expensive, and especially after long retention intervals, an alternative strategy could be to retrieve caches by cheaper but less efficient methods. Very few studies have been designed to investigate the decay of the memory in birds,... (More)
Food hoarding and memory have primarily been studied in two bird families, the Corvidae (crows, jays, nutcrackers, etc.) and the Paridae (tits, titmice and chickadees). In both families there are species that hoard large quantities of seeds and nuts in the autumn and depend on these stores during the winter. Caches are concealed or highly inconspicuous and the most efficient way to retrieve them is to remember the exact locations. However, a long-term memory for a large number of caches may be physiologically expensive, and especially after long retention intervals, an alternative strategy could be to retrieve caches by cheaper but less efficient methods. Very few studies have been designed to investigate the decay of the memory in birds, but both field observations and experiments point in the same direction: although long-term hoarding corvids seem to possess an accurate long-term memory, long-term hoarding parids do not appear to. I discuss possible reasons for this and suggest that differences between the families in their degree of dependence on stored food or/and size-related limitations of brain capacity may be important. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Ethology
volume
23
issue
2
pages
77 - 83
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000230892800001
  • scopus:23944524567
ISSN
0289-0771
DOI
10.1007/s10164-005-0147-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b0d363f2-aa42-4e31-8c4f-5b3266cc3f76 (old id 147392)
date added to LUP
2007-07-03 11:08:40
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:37:34
@article{b0d363f2-aa42-4e31-8c4f-5b3266cc3f76,
  abstract     = {Food hoarding and memory have primarily been studied in two bird families, the Corvidae (crows, jays, nutcrackers, etc.) and the Paridae (tits, titmice and chickadees). In both families there are species that hoard large quantities of seeds and nuts in the autumn and depend on these stores during the winter. Caches are concealed or highly inconspicuous and the most efficient way to retrieve them is to remember the exact locations. However, a long-term memory for a large number of caches may be physiologically expensive, and especially after long retention intervals, an alternative strategy could be to retrieve caches by cheaper but less efficient methods. Very few studies have been designed to investigate the decay of the memory in birds, but both field observations and experiments point in the same direction: although long-term hoarding corvids seem to possess an accurate long-term memory, long-term hoarding parids do not appear to. I discuss possible reasons for this and suggest that differences between the families in their degree of dependence on stored food or/and size-related limitations of brain capacity may be important.},
  author       = {Brodin, Anders},
  issn         = {0289-0771},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {77--83},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Ethology},
  title        = {Mechanisms of cache retrieval in long-term hoarding birds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10164-005-0147-5},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2005},
}