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Female reproductive success, provisioning of nestlings and polygyny in corn buntings

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/1994
<mark>Journal</mark>Animal Behaviour
Issue number3
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)717-725
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Many studies have demonstrated that female passerine birds have reduced reproductive success when breeding as secondary females of polygynous males, usually because they receive less male parental care than monogamous or primary females. In the corn bunting, Millaria calandra, by contrast, nests of primary and secondary females of polygynous males had similar success and nests of monogamous females tended to have lower success than both groups. Males provided almost no parental care (including nest building, incubation, nuptial feeds and provisioning of nestlings) until the chicks were about 4 days old, after which time they provided an average of up to 22% of feeds. Males did not provision nestlings of monogamous, primary or secondary nests differently as regards either feed rate or amount of food per visit. Male parental care was not associated with fledging success. A female’s frequency of feeding visits was not associated with her status nor with the fledging success of her brood, but the proportion of large food loads delivered to the nestlings was positively correlated with fledging success.