Genetics and Associated Development

A question concerning genetics was posed, that the present parents of the Boise falcon chicks probably passed on stronger genes to these chicks, because the chicks are progressing at a greater and faster rate than the chicks from the 2009 brood. Personally, I tend to believe that the rate of development of the 2010 chicks compared to the 2009 chicks, is more instinctive behavior, to some degree, that the behavior is a learned behavior rather than genetic or hereditary behavior.

Many people mistakenly believe that instincts are somehow more “genetic” or “hereditary” than learned behavior … all of a bird’s actions are caused by its nervous system, which is in turn the developmental product of an extraordinarily complex interaction between the individual’s genetic information and the environment in which the development occurs. (2004, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology: Handbook of Bird Biology, 6:15)

The present falcon chicks have a very long area in which to wander. The parents may seem to be spending more time away from the hack box, albeit, they are definitely in visual and audible contact with the chicks. The 2009 brood, had the same amount of space to wander in, but the parents of that brood were in closer physical contact. The lack of physical contact this year, could be the impetus within the environment and the interaction of the genetic complexity to initiate the higher activity level of the eyasses.


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