Great Tits willing to starve themselves to spend more time with their mates

Great Tits willing to starve themselves to spend more time with their mates

After carrying out research on great tits, a bird species, scientists at the University of Oxford have found that these birds are ready to stay hungry to spend more time with their mates. Their choices to stay together in short term help in gaining long-term benefits in maintaining relationships.

An experiment was carried out in which the researchers used automated feeding stations to track the eating habits of these birds. The experiment was set in a way that from every couple, one of the birds would have access to certain stations and its partner to other stations.

The researchers noticed that one of the partner left outside the station would spend its maximum time at its partner’s station even if it was locked so food cannot be accessed.

Study’s lead researcher Josh Frith has affirmed, “The choice to stay close to their partner over accessing food demonstrates how an individual bird’s decisions in the short term, which might appear sub-optimal, can actually be shaped around gaining the long-term benefits of maintaining their key relationships”.

The researchers said that mated pairs of great tits have chosen to prioritize their relationships over food. Through this way, they are also able to spend more time with their partner’s flock mates. Frith said that this has helped them show how the company that an individual has is influenced on their partner’s choices.

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