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Paternal care in the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris: nestling provision

Sandell, Maria LU ; Smith, Henrik G. LU and Bruun, Måns LU (1996) In Behavioral Ecology 39. p.301-309
Abstract
The extent to which male birds in polygynous species with biparental care assist in nestling feeding often varies considerably between nests of different mating status. Both how much polygynous males assist and how they divide their effort between nests may have a profound effect on the evolution of mating systems. In this study we investigated how males in the facultatively polygynous European starling Sturnus vulgaris invested in their different nests. The amount of male assistance affected the quality of the offspring. Polygynous males invested as much as monogamous males, but divided their effort asymmetrically between nests, predominantly feeding nestlings of first-mated (primary) females. Although females partly compensated for loss... (More)
The extent to which male birds in polygynous species with biparental care assist in nestling feeding often varies considerably between nests of different mating status. Both how much polygynous males assist and how they divide their effort between nests may have a profound effect on the evolution of mating systems. In this study we investigated how males in the facultatively polygynous European starling Sturnus vulgaris invested in their different nests. The amount of male assistance affected the quality of the offspring. Polygynous males invested as much as monogamous males, but divided their effort asymmetrically between nests, predominantly feeding nestlings of first-mated (primary) females. Although females partly compensated for loss of male assistance, total feeding frequency was lower at primary females' nests than at monogamous females nests. Secondary females received even less assistance with nestling rearing, and the extent to which males assisted decreased with the length of the interval between the hatching of the primary and secondary clutches. These results are contrasted with those from a Belgian populations of starlings with a much more protracted breeding season and thus greater opportunities for males to attract additional mates during the nestling rearing period. The results show that both the ''defence of male parental investment model'' and the ''asynchronous settlement model'' have explanatory power, but that their validity depends on the potential length of the breeding season. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Nestling feeding , Parental investment , Mating systems
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
39
pages
301 - 309
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:0030462328
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1007/s002650050293
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
733dc230-27ba-42c9-b775-f7d251e3fb41
date added to LUP
2017-07-11 10:18:41
date last changed
2017-11-05 05:20:07
@article{733dc230-27ba-42c9-b775-f7d251e3fb41,
  abstract     = {The extent to which male birds in polygynous species with biparental care assist in nestling feeding often varies considerably between nests of different mating status. Both how much polygynous males assist and how they divide their effort between nests may have a profound effect on the evolution of mating systems. In this study we investigated how males in the facultatively polygynous European starling Sturnus vulgaris invested in their different nests. The amount of male assistance affected the quality of the offspring. Polygynous males invested as much as monogamous males, but divided their effort asymmetrically between nests, predominantly feeding nestlings of first-mated (primary) females. Although females partly compensated for loss of male assistance, total feeding frequency was lower at primary females' nests than at monogamous females nests. Secondary females received even less assistance with nestling rearing, and the extent to which males assisted decreased with the length of the interval between the hatching of the primary and secondary clutches. These results are contrasted with those from a Belgian populations of starlings with a much more protracted breeding season and thus greater opportunities for males to attract additional mates during the nestling rearing period. The results show that both the ''defence of male parental investment model'' and the ''asynchronous settlement model'' have explanatory power, but that their validity depends on the potential length of the breeding season.},
  author       = {Sandell, Maria and Smith, Henrik G. and Bruun, Måns},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  keyword      = {Nestling feeding ,Parental investment ,Mating systems },
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {301--309},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {Paternal care in the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris: nestling provision},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s002650050293},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {1996},
}