Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) Science Article 15


A frequently hypothesized but poorly studied cost of multiple mating in birds is thatexposure to pathogenic sexually transmitted microbes (STM’s) can lower reproductive success.Conversely, female birds may benefit from high frequencies of copulation and multiple copulationpartners if they receive cloacal inoculations of beneficial STM’s that can either protect themagainst future encounters with pathogens and/or serve as therapy against present infection. Weexamined the semen of 30 male tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) in 1998 to determine thepresence and prevalence of potential pathogenic and beneficial STM’s.

Michael P. Lombardo and Patrick A. Thorpe, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 36(3), 2000, pp. 460-468

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