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BirdNote: Pecking Order

12/17/11 8:57AM
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S Clark

Birds in flocks almost invariably develop a pecking order. An alpha chicken can peck any other in the flock, and a beta chicken can peck all others but the alpha, etc. Juncos and other small birds have a pecking order, too.

The pecking order, or dominance hierarchy, of a flock of birds is usually this: males are dominant to females and adults are dominant to young birds. As a flock changes and birds come and go, the pecking order changes.

Learn more this week on BirdNote, Saturday morning before the 9 o'clock news on VPR.


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