Information can enhance fitness, and the ways in which organisms acquire and use information are of heightened interest in ecological studies today. Migratory birds, as long-distance travelers of the globe, depend on rapid access to accurate information and thus provide particularly interesting study subjects for cognitive ecology. Yet, questions regarding how migratory birds collect information and make decisions en route remain to be answered. Here, we review the current status of this field of study and focus our attention on social learning (broadly defined as the use of inadvertently produced social information) as an important cognitive mechanism that can operate across taxonomic boundaries. We argue that social learning is critical to accelerate resource acquisition while reducing risks and uncertainties during migration. We put forward eight testable predictions in relation to when increased use of social information might be expected. Finally, we argue that migrant communities at stopover sites may serve as additional sources of information where transient associations with others may have important and long-lasting benefits.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 131 • No. 2