Birds as prey

Antipredatory behaviour is an animal response after predator recognition.

Predator has good morphological and behavioral equipment. Prey must be able to face to specialization of predator, which is quite difficult task. First, it must identify object correctly, and assess the danger to himself or to its pups. Then respond – escape or attack to predator effectively. Any mistake can lead to death of itself or of its hard-“produced” offspring.

Antipredatory behavior occurs in various forms in many species (including invertebrates). Probably most noticeable form of antipredatory behaviour is mobbing.

Antipredatory behaviour has substantial fitness consequences by definition, and thus it is the best candidate for behavioural ecological research. Accurrate recognition of the predator is a prerequisite of appropriate risk assessment. Suprisingly, relatively little attention has been paid to this topic. Predator recognition always demands that prey can distinguish between predators and similar harmless animals, but most antipredator studies simply assume prey are capable of recognizing predators and concentrate their attention on prey responding to one or rather rarely a handful of predator species. The ability to recognise harmless and dangerous objects was proved in almost all of the studies.

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