Treerooster wrote:This argument (I think) boils down to thet belief that wildlife can not learn. You have to have a memory to learn. To which I strongly disagree.
Perhaps, that is one take and perhaps in the end we will agree to disagree as I do not think anyone knows for sure. With many of the terms we throw around it depends on how each perceives and defines them. (learn, memory, knowledge, etc.) Keep in mind a simple 3 letter word like RUN has 832 different definitions.
Treerooster wrote:The fact that turkeys go to the same roost was brought up, and Charlie you did not address this. Except to say that imprinting was different than memory. I need much more detail than that or I would come away saying that if turkeys are imprinted on a roost site than memory (and learning) are the same as imprinting, at least in that respect.
Imprinting is different than memory. Memory involves the process of acquiring, storing and recalling information to form a knowledge base.
Imprinting is phase sensitive learning to establish a behavior pattern.
I think imprinting best describes the wild turkey "learning" process.
In the rare situation where turkeys use the same roost it is a matter of where the turkey was come roost time. At least this is the case in my area where we have suitable roost trees virtually everywhere. In contrast, in many western plains areas the turkeys don't have all these roosting options so they generally use the same trees or spend the night on the ground.
Treerooster wrote:Say you caught some week old poults and put them in a cage and raised them away from the hen. When they were about 6 months old you let them back in the wild were you caught them. What do you think their chances of survival would be? I'd say pretty slim because the hen was not there to raise/teach them things they need to know about that particular habitat. A hen is there to protect her brood for sure. But I also think those poults learn how to avoid danger and how to use the local habitat from the hen.
I like ticklishpros take on this with his quail example.
Also there were 2 studies done here in WI back in the 80's that concluded if a brood hen were to die the brood most likely survives without her. All of these studies are on Google Scholar.
Treerooster wrote:Its been said the only thing that can raise a wild turkey is a wild turkey hen, if you believe that is true then why? If a turkey has all it needs to know when born then any turkey should have all it needs to survive from the time it is hatched. As long as it makes it to the age where it can fly the hen is not needed. IF...turkeys can't learn that is.
I do not believe this, Joe Hutto raised a turkey brood and he could not fly or roost.
Treerooster wrote:Wild turkeys (and many other bird species and animals) that have never been hunted by man are easier to hunt than turkeys that have been heavily hunted. Why is that?
Because of phase sensitive learning to establish a behavior pattern, better known as imprinting.
Treerooster wrote:If birds can't learn, can mamals learn? Like dogs. If so, then where is the line between animals that can learn and animals that can't learn?
They can all "learn" to a point it is just how and how deep that learning is accomplished. Most birds I think learn by imprint, the exception is the crow who not only learns by imprint but seems to have a memory that is used as a knowledge base to perform some rudimentary reasoning. Which I think is an explanation as to why they collect items to fashion and use as simple tools.
Canines not only imprint but they remember and reason things out this includes many domestic dogs and all the wild canines I have hunted. Which is why in my older age I personally find if very difficult to kill fox, coyotes, wolves and crows.