Konrad Lorenz Research Station for Ethology, University of Vienna, Grünau, Austria
The Triumph Ceremony (TRC) in Greylag Geese is a pairbond-related display of still unclear function. After an attack towards some other individual of the flock, the male vocalizes loudly ("Rollen") and returns to his partner. Just before reaching the female, he starts performing a pressed "cackling" sound ("Schnattern") of varying intensity, accompanied by "greeting movements" with his neck. In contrast to the literature (Fischer, 1965; Lorenz, 1988), own observations revealed that the female does not always join in into the male s cackling. Therefore, this report focusses on the female's response to the male's TRC.
Individual observations of agonistic and pairbond behaviour in 5 adult pairs of the free-roaming flock of Greylag Geese in Grünau (Almtal, Austria) were collected by use of The Observer program and a Psion Organiser over 17 weeks (November 95 to March 96), recording male and female of a pair simoultaneously on parallel channels, using modifiers to get information about the targets of aggressions. Frequency and % of total duration as a measure of the intensity of each parameter, as well as steroid hormone levels measured from feces (which was collected from individuals simultaneous with observations), were considered. In the course of the observation period, the ganders significantly increased the intensity of their TRCs. Females only started to answer as soon as they had laid their first egg. Negative correlations between the females' aggression and the intensity of the males' TRC shall be discussed.
Funded by FWF project #P10483-BIO.
Fischer, H. (1965). Das Triumphgeschrei der Graugans (Anser anser). Z. Tierpsychol. 22, 247-304.
Lorenz, K. (1988). Hier bin ich, wo bist Du? Ethologie der Graugans. Piper Verlag, München.