Behavioral Ecology The Hawk-Dove Game Figure %: Hawk-Dove Game The Hawk-Dove Game is a classic example of game theory used in animal behavior. In this model, we have two animals (not necessarily birds) that are capable of choosing from two strategies when in conflict with one another. The animal can choose to be a "hawk" and escalate to a fight or the animal can choose to be a "dove" and peacefully back down. Hawks are always willing to fight, and so if two hawks meet, there will always be a fight. Winners receive the benefit, while losers face the cost of the fight. Doves flee, and so are never involved in a fight. There is no cost to be a dove, only the possibility of receiving no payoff. In , the benefit for player 1 as a hawk meeting another hawk is the benefit of winning (B) minus the cost of losing the fight (C) divided by two because both hawk players have an equal chance of winning. Half the time player 1 will win and half the time he will lose. Should the hawk meet a dove, the hawk will always win, and so the payoff is just the benefit of winning. If player 1
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