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Footedness in Steppe Buzzards (Buteo vulpinus)
- Yosef, Reuven, Gindi, Coral, Sukenik, Nufar
- Behavioural processes 2019 v.158 pp. 113-116
- Buteo, birds, humans, invertebrates, migratory behavior, steppes, trapping, wildlife
- Asymmetries in handedness/footedness has been demonstrated in many vertebrate and invertebrate species, including humans, but its role and origins are still debated. We studied the ratio of footedness in migratory Steppe Buzzards (Buteo vulpinus). We hypothesized that during our raptor banding program we could observe the preferred foot used by the raptor when trying to access the lure in a bal-chatri trap, and that if there was no preference in the population then it would show a 50:50 use of the right or left foot. A total of 367 different Steppe Buzzards were identified and their footedness analyzed. Of these 196 (53.4%) preferentially hit the trap first with the right foot, 148 (40.3%) with the left foot, and 23 (6.3%) appeared to be ambidextrous. In the avian world, predominance is considered to be species specific but mostly right-footed. The migratory Steppe Buzzards also show a predominantly right-sided lateralization. This result could be due to the task/situation that was analyzed; perhaps in a different more tool-like manipulation activity lateralization could be different. We recommend all future researchers that deal in wildlife trapping to also pay attention to this very interesting aspect of wildlife biology.