Lateralization of vigilance in geese: influence of flock size and distance to the source of disturbance

  • Elmira Zaynagutdinova Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab., 7–9, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
  • Karina Karenina Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab., 7–9, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
  • Andrey Giljov Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab., 7–9, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation


Left-eye preference, implicating right hemisphere advantage, is typical for vigilant behaviour of many vertebrates. Nevertheless, lateralization of vigilance may be manifested in other ways, such as different reactions to the danger viewed with the right and left eye. Here, we studied one-side biases in the orientation of white-fronted geese Anser albifrons feeding in flocks at different distances to the source of anthropogenic disturbance (a road with traffic) and in flocks of different sizes. The birds which used the left eye to monitor the road were at shorter distances to the road than the birds which used the right eye. The tendency to monitor the road with the right eye decreased with increasing flock size. Trade-offs between feeding, social and vigilant behaviour could explain these tendencies.


vigilant behaviour, antipredator behaviour, social behavior, sensory lateralization, visual lateralization, white-fronted goose, disturbance, hunting, flight initiation distance, lateral bias


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How to Cite
Zaynagutdinova, E., Karenina, K., & Giljov, A. (2020). Lateralization of vigilance in geese: influence of flock size and distance to the source of disturbance. Biological Communications, 65(3), 252–261.
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