U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Behaviour 153 (2016) 1817–1838


U.S. Government Work


Boldness reflects consistent individual differences in risk-taking behavior across various contexts. However, evaluating this basic assumption has largely been neglected in birds. In a captive monk parakeet population (Myiopsitta monachus; N = 33), we undertook an analysis of 7 measures across 3 commonly used boldness assays (i.e., novel object, emergence, and predator-exposure tests). Using principal component analysis, we derived 3 components (PCs). PC-2 loaded strongly with measures from emergence and predator-exposure tests; we interpreted it as the closest approximation of boldness. PC-1 and PC-3 described different aspects of feeding such as foraging activity and rate, respectively. Finally, we assessed the predictive power of each measure that loaded significantly on the boldness axis.We found that no single metric explained even %55 of the variation in PC-2, nor could more than %50 individuals at the extremes of the spectrum be predicted. Our results demonstrate the utility of an inclusive approach in personality research.

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