Personality shapes pair bonding in a wild bird social system.
Firth JA., Cole EF., Ioannou CC., Quinn JL., Aplin LM., Culina A., McMahon K., Sheldon BC.
Mated pair bonds are integral to many animal societies, yet how individual variation in behaviour influences their formation remains largely unknown. In a population of wild great tits (Parus major), we show that personality shapes pair bonding: proactive males formed stronger pre-breeding pair bonds by meeting their future partners sooner and increasing their relationship strength at a faster rate. As a result, proactive males sampled fewer potential mates. Thus, personality may have important implications for social relationship dynamics and emergent social structure.