Personality shapes pair bonding in a wild bird social system

Josh Firth, Ella Cole, Christos Ioannou, John L Quinn, Lucy M Aplin, Antica Culina, Keith McMahon, Ben Sheldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
291 Downloads (Pure)


Mated pair bonds are integral to many animal societies, yet how individual variation in behaviour influences their formation remains largely unknown. In a population of wild great tits (Parus major), we show that personality shapes pair bonding: proactive males formed stronger pre-breeding pair bonds by meeting their future partners sooner and increasing their relationship strength at a faster rate. As a result, proactive males sampled fewer potential mates. Thus, personality may have important implications for social relationship dynamics and emergent social structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1696–1699
Number of pages4
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Issue number11
Early online date1 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


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