Conditional association between melanism and personality in Israeli Barn Owls

Ori Peleg, Motti Charter, Yossi Leshem, Ido Izhaki, Alexandre Roulin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Capsule Boldness defines the extent to which animals are willing to take risks in the presence of a predator. Late, but not early, in the breeding season, Israeli nestling Barn Owls displaying larger black feather spots were more docile, feigned death longer and had a lower breathing rate when handled than smaller-spotted nestlings. Larger-spotted breeding females were less docile if heavy but more more docile if light. The covariation between personality (boldness vs. timid) and melanin-based colouration is therefore conditional on environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages6
JournalBird Study
Issue number4
StatePublished - 7 Oct 2014


FundersFunder number
Israel Hoopoe Foundation
Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung3100AO_120517


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