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Ethological approach to captive breeding of sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus and goshawk A gentilis Approche ethologique de la reproduction en captive chez Accipiter nisus et Accipiter gentilis

Pacteau, C.

Alauda 704: 489-496

2002


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-4619
Accession: 038215792

During twenty years the author has studied the breeding biology of both species in captivity. After a brief summary of the history of birds of prey captive breeding, he presents his experiments and he formulates two hypotheses on the existence of limiting factors. He considers that impregnation to the human environment is the factor removing the inhibition of hormone production: birds bred and reared by humans have inhibited behavioural and hormonal processes. He also considers that, in captivity, social links between partners seem to remove all inhibitions to their relationship during reproduction. "When they know each other, they recognise each other, if they recognise each other they trust each other", though, for these "anxious" species, in ' captivity, "trust in the other" seem to be necessary. In the wild, because of a much diverse life experience, the acquisition of "self confidence" probably counterbalances the "trust in the other" thus allowing relationship between completely foreign birds. These observations conform to those made in the human species while modifying our views on animal relationships. Behaviours only serve to express relationship between individuals: humans salute each other because they know each other and not the converse. Why should things be any different for other animals? Globally, the epigenetic probabilistic approach situating the establishment of behavioural trait during ontogenesis and conferring to the environment a structuring power is better adapted to relate the results from this study.

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