Left-handed birds?

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Left-handed birds?
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 10:41:54 +1000
On Thu, Jun 02, 2005 at 01:01:36AM +1000, Chris Armstrong wrote:
>    Are they natural lefties or could they be a family group where the
>    technique is passed from one generstion to the next?

Most Major-Mitchels might be left-footed.  I've appended the abstract
of a relevant paper.


Snyder, P.J., Harris, L.J., Ceravolo, N., & Bonner, J.A. (1996). Are
Psittacines an appropriate animal model of handedness in humans? Brain
and Cognition, 32, 208-211.

Past studies have suggested that parrots may be unique among animals
in showing limb preference (footedness) that is similar to human
handedness. Most of these studies, however, have relied on relatively
small samples of genera from different zoographical regions, and few
have sought to control for certain variables that could influence foot
preference. We therefore employed a standardized repeated-measures
method for assessment of footedness and collected data on 522 parrots
from several species. After controlling for several potential modifying
variables, our results indicate that, at the population level, only
Australasian parrots may provide a true animal model of human handedness.
model of human handedness.
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