Diego Hernández Muciño

Undergraduate thesis research on female and male territoriality in the Streak-backed Oriole (Icterus pustulatus)
(Spanish version)

I a student of biology at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mexico City, and my advisors for my undergraduate thesis project are Dr. Marcela Osorio from UAEM (Morelos University) and Dr. Troy Murphy from Queen's University.


I am interested in territorial behavior and dominance interactions of birds. For my thesis research, I am studying both male and female territoriality of the streak-backed oriole (Icterus pustulatus). 

I am working with Dr. Troy Murphy to study the reaction of territory owners to intrusion by other orioles during the non-breeding season.

We are using taxidermic mounts of both sexes to simulate territorial intrusion, and are testing to see if the sex of the mount influences:
1) the intensity of territorial behavior,
2) how males and females respond to territorial intrusion.

Preliminary results:

Both male and female orioles respond to territorial intrusion. Both sexes respond to taxedermic mounts by approaching and vocalizing, and both sexes perform agonistic head-bob displays

(see picture below!).