Social specificity: interaction with own species is necessary to foster species-specific maternal preference in ducklings.

Previous studies have shown that if domestic mallard ducklings are allowed social interaction with broodmates after their initial exposure to a stuffed mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) hen, they later show a visual preference for the familiar mallard over an unfamiliar redhead (Aythya americana) hen. Birds kept in social isolation do not make this difficult… CONTINUE READING