Birds choose where to live based on their personalities

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IN 2015 a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported on the personality types of people living in various London boroughs. Extroverts, the researchers who wrote it had discovered, favoured Richmond, Wandsworth and Lambeth. Those who were most open to experience clustered in Hackney and Islington. People in Barnet and Lewisham scored lower than average on emotional stability.

What this study did not address was whether someone’s home range reflects their personality traits or imposes them. In other words, is what is going on “nature” or “nurture”? However, in a piece of research just published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Benedikt Holtmann of Otago University, in New Zealand, and his colleagues have plugged that gap—at least, they have plugged it for dunnocks.

Personality is not a prerogative of people. Most vertebrates in which the matter has…Continue reading

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