The tendency to consume greater amount of food in social context has traditionally been attributed as social facilitation, which is an important characteristic of social and flocking birds. In this study, we investigated Eurasian siskin (Carduelis spinus) dominant individuals for neophobia and influence of social context on foraging. In our experiments, a subject (observer) was presented with three novel and familiar food in each of three contexts: asocial, first social context (conspecifics without food) and second social context (conspecifics with food). The results showed that individuals preferred to consume novel food only in social context comparing to asocial. Furthermore, individuals consumed significantly greater amount of familiar food in social context than asocial. Our results showed that dominant male Eurasian siskins may reduce neophobia in social context and increase food intake. Present study showed that flocking in the Eurasian siskin and other gathering birds may influence individual fitness.
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