FW: [canberrabirds] Do Gang-gangs spend their whole lives eating?

To: <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Do Gang-gangs spend their whole lives eating?
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 18:21:30 +1000

Megan  -  Gang-gangs usually draw attention to themselves when they are commuting, or actively feeding.  They are less conspicuous for the long periods they spend resting in trees, sometimes mutually preening, sometimes dozing, eyes wholly or partly closed, often giving a soft growling calling, itself quite noticeable when you know it.  I suppose work has been done somewhere on their time ‘budget’(sorry) …  [I have plucked the following at random.  Counting that sort of thing seems to be a preoccupation of biologists these days.]


Measuring Behavior: Ethograms, Kinematic

Diagrams, and Time Budgets

by H. Jane Brockmann

Departument of Zoology

University of Florida


Time Budgets


: An ethogram gave us a list of the characteristic action patterns

of an animal and the kinematic diagram gives an excellent overview of behavioral

sequences and how frequently certain behaviors occur. However, neither really

tells us how much time an animal spends performing each behavior. Note that

even though a behavior is very common, it may be that the animal still spends

very little time at it because it is brief.

Time is an important commodity to all organisms, given that life is finite

and that opportunities are often fleeting. We will see later in the course that in

many activities animals carefully regulate their "expenditure" of time. Moreover,

in some cases, time can also be a good stand-in for energy -- especially if the

activity is steadily performed.

A time budget for an animal is just like one for a human -- it lists the

percentage of time that an animal spends doing various activities. These

"activities" may be either particular action patterns such as producing a territory

call or they could be more broadly defined activities such as territory

maintenance. The latter would include calling, patrolling and perhaps even


Time budgets are obtained by:

• defining the behavioral units under consideration (somewhat and perhaps

totally akin to obtaining an ethogram)

• measuring the time spent on each of these

• totalling the time

• obtaining a fraction for each activity  


From: Megan Mears [
Sent: Friday, 16 May 2014 5:41 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Do Gang-gangs spend their whole lives eating?


Since I have been looking out for Gang-gangs, I'm not sure I have noticed them do much else. Occasional sitting and digesting I guess.


I'm interested in others' observations.




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