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On the rarity of observations of food provisioning by male dickcissels

Prairie Naturalist

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Abstract

Males of polygynous bird species typically provide less parental care to their offspring than males of monogamous species (Ketterson and Nolan 1994). Generally, in polygynous species, a male forfeits some potential reproductive success if he shifts his reproductive effort from mating with multiple females to parental care (Trivers 1972, Gubemick et al. 1993, Schleicher et al. 1993). In the polygynous dickcissel (Spiza americana), singing and foraging activities constitute much of a male's time-activity budget (Schartz and Zimmerman 1971, Finck 1984). Although male dickcissels are attentive to their nests and mates (e.g., nest protection and vigilance) females incubate the eggs and feed the young (Gross 1921). Herein, we describe an account of a male dickcissel feeding brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) young early in the breeding season, summarize and review previous reports of food provisioning by the male dickcissel, and discuss the rarity of this behavior in the dickcissel.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
On the rarity of observations of food provisioning by male dickcissels
Series title:
Prairie Naturalist
Volume:
33
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
Great Plains Natural Science Society
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
7 p.
First page:
111
Last page:
118