Just the same as it is often demonstrated in the human world, a recent study published by UC Berkley found strong conscientiousness among birds and other critters in the animal kingdom.  Characteristics such as cleanliness, pride in appearance and friendliness are undoubtedly admiral traits to find in any good friend or accomplice and apparently the same can be said among birds.

Studying over 4,000 behavioural studies, psychologists Mikel Delgado and Frank Sulloway tracked admiral attributes such as industriousness, neatness, tenacity, cautiousness and self-discipline across birds and other animals as part of their study.

What they found was astounding and remarkably similar to much of our day-to-day behaviours and interactions as humans.  In studying a number of bird species as well as insects, reptiles, and fish, they found that those that exhibit characteristics such as hard work, attention to detail and doing the right thing had evolutionary benefits.  Those exhibiting these types of characteristics were found to have an easier time attracting mates, procreating and keeping would-be predators at bay.


“Honeybees who are more likely to remove bee carcasses from their hive have more offspring, and birds who keep their nests tidier are less susceptible to being preyed on,” Delgado said. “Also, for many bird species, mastering song is key to mating success.”

The study saw the pair of researcher’s conscientiousness characteristics into two main categories: order and industriousness, which includes organization and cleanliness, and achievement striving and competence, which included mastery and careful consideration.

They concluded that the majority of bird species fit into the order and industriousness category, while mammals typically were grouped into the achievement striving and competence category.

“Orderly and industrious tendencies appear to have originated in insects and fish, whereas achievement striving and competence may be more closely related to problem-solving, group living, and the complexity of the environment that those animals inhabit,“ Delgado said.


Previous research in the field has identified unique characteristics such as openness, extraversion, and neuroticism in the animal kingdom; this is the first time conscientiousness has been officially recognized.

Read the full study here.



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