Pecking the red dot

a theatrical lecture

To cele­bra­te the 65th anni­vers­a­ry of Beha­vi­our and the 40th anni­vers­a­ry of Niko Tinbergen’s Nobel Pri­ze, Dut­ch the­a­tre com­pa­ny Cow­boy bij Nacht and beha­vi­ou­ral bio­lo­gist Carel ten Cate will team up to deli­ver a spe­ci­al the­a­tri­cal lec­tu­re about the life and work of Niko Tin­ber­gen (1907 — 1988).


Inspi­red by Tinbergen’s work with her­ring gulls and his clas­sic expe­ri­ments on super­nor­mal sti­mu­li, this lec­tu­re will pro­vi­de a brief account of Tinbergen’s expe­ri­ments on the beg­ging res­pon­ses of Her­ring gull chicks, illu­stra­ted with a short movie and pic­tu­res of Tinbergen’s old notes. Tinbergen’s ori­gi­nal data on the famous expe­ri­ment on the colour of the spot on the lower man­di­ble dif­fer from the well-known text­book figu­re showing the stron­gest res­pon­se to a red spot.


Ten Cate will dis­cuss this and show how recent data also pro­vi­de a novel twist to the sto­ry of the super­nor­mal beak. He will end with some modern examples of super­nor­mal sti­mu­li with humans, which is the main sub­ject of a long­term pro­ject on Tin­ber­gen by the­a­tre com­pa­ny Cow­boy bij Nacht.




The­a­tri­cal lecture


Inter­na­ti­o­nal Etho­lo­gi­cal Con­fe­ren­ce Beha­vi­our 2013

New­cast­le (UK)

Special Thanks

Brill Publis­hers (Michiel Thijssen)