Study Shows Flamingos with Similar Personality Traits ‘Form Cliques’ with Like-Minded Friends

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Birds of a feather really do flock together according to a new study that found flamingos with similar personality traits “form cliques” with like-minded friends.

In Chilean and Caribbean flamingos, birds with similar personality traits tended to form cliques separate from differently-wired peers, much like humans.

For example, bolder birds were shown to stick together, whilst more submissive flamingos formed another group.

It’s hoped that the research, conducted by experts at the University of Exeter and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), will help us better understand the evolution of social behaviour in birds and improve the welfare of zoo flamingos in particular the famous pink birds are actually found very sparsely throughout the world.

To conduct the research, scientists observed captive Chilean and Caribbean flamingos at wetland and wildlife reserve WWT Slimbridge, between Bristol and Gloucestershire in the southwest of England.

The two species can be distinguished by their colour differences: Caribbean flamingos display a brighter crimson or vermilion colour, whilst Chilean flamingos are instead a pale pink.

The personalities of each of the flamingos were first assessed by measuring consistent individual differences such as a bird’s aggression or willingness to explore.

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