If you think that animals evaluate potential mates solely on physical characteristics… you probably have a pretty clinical view of life. Most of us probably suspect that personality plays some factor, but now there’s a scientific study that shows clear evidence that zebra finches, at least, do consider “personality” when choosing mates; more specifically, female finches prefer mates that exhibit compatible personality traits.
A controlled study at the University of Exeter showed that “female [zebra finches] care about the apparent personality of their male independently of his appearance.” The researchers further state that “it is important for partners to have compatible personalities” and “more exploratory females are more likely to favour the most apparently outgoing and confident males.”
This is something most of us bird owners probably already knew intuitively. Clearly our parrots have their own individual personalities, and not all birds get along with each other. That has strong implications for how we interact with them and how we house them. (For example, you can’t simply put two birds in the same cage as they could seriously injure each other in a squabble or fight.)
If you have multiple birds in your flock of pet birds, do you notice that some birds prefer their more outgoing flockmates, while others prefer different personality types? Do your pets have established “cliques” outside of species-specific preferences?