Rooks (Strasbourg, France)

rook ( photo: C. Scheid)

Christelle Scheid

Christelle's study was supported by a grant of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and by the GEBACO-programme

The captive colony in Strasbourg

We started our captive rook colony in the spring of 2006 with chicks born in the wild colony of the CNRS campus Cronenbourg (Strasbourg).

My ultimate goal is to work on cooperation and economic behaviour in parallel to the work on vervet monkeys. In the first years our possibilities were limited by the size and layout of our old aviary. The rooks are housed in a new aviary since the spring of 2009.
The rook colony is mainly used for master theses.

the old aviary (photo: C. Scheid)

the new aviary (photo: R. Noë)

PhD-thesis of Christelle Scheid

Christelle started with a training period at the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Grünau, Austria under supervision of Thomas Bugnyar and Kurt Kotrschal, during which she worked on social attention and spatial memory in ravens and jackdaws.

Back in Strasbourg she studied several aspects of cooperation in rooks, such as food sharing and the influence of 'personality' on performance in cooperative tasks.

  • Scheid, C. & Noë, R. 2010. The performance of rooks in a cooperative task depends on their temperament. Animal Cognition, 13, 545-553. pdf
  • Scheid, C., Schmidt, J. & Noë, R. 2008. Distinct patterns of food offering and co-feeding in rooks. Animal Behaviour 76, 1701-1707. pdf
  • Scheid, C. & Bugnyar, T. 2008. Short-term observational spatial memory in Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) and Ravens (Corvus corax). Animal Cognition 11, 691-69.
  • Scheid, C., Range, F. & Bugnyar, T. 2007. When, what, and whom to watch? Quantifying attention in ravens (Corvus corax) and jackdaws (Corvus monedula). J Comp Psy 121, 380–386.

  • Schloegl, C., Schmidt, J., Scheid, C., Kotrschal, K. & Bugnyar., T. 2008. Gaze following in non-human animals: the corvid example. In: Animal Behaviour: New Research (Ed. by Columbus, F.) New York: Nova Science Publishers.

International cooperations

I initiated an international network of covid researchers COCOR (Cooperation in Corvids), which was one of 5 consortia of the ESF-EUROCORES programme TECT (The Evolution of Cooperation and Trading).

Our rook project was also part of GEBACO (The Genetic Basis of Cooperation), a EU-Framework 6 research programme. Further meetings and exchanges were financed by another Framework 6 programme INCORE (Integrating Cooperation Research across Europe)