A Case of Intraspecific Killing in Passerines: The House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus)

Guillaume Halliez 1  and Clémence Marie Lucie Becel 2
  • 1 Chrono-Environnement Laboratory, University of Franche-Comte/CNRS - 16 route de Gray, Besancon, France
  • 2 Universitary Group of Naturalists of Franche-Comte - 16 route de Gray, Besancon, France

Abstract

Even if intraspecific conflict is a well-known behaviour in birds, intraspecific killing among passerines is very rare in the literature. Cases of intraspecific predation among passerines constitute a very small percentage of published reports, and many of the cases are based on circumstantial evidence. In March 2013, we witnessed a group of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) kill a conspecific male adult in the village of Gonsans (France, Doubs department). During the reproductive season three explanations of others studies (lack of food, weak condition and territorial behaviour during) could be relevant in our case. In conclusion, it appears that our observation is a very rare one and the second one for the House Sparrow.

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