Food abundance and parental care in yellow warblers

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) Science Article 1


Emlen and Oring (1977) suggested that monogamy in birds is maintained because of the need for strict biparental care. A corollary of their suggestion is that paternal care should decrease under conditions of high food abundance. An alternative is that paternal care would increase if males take advantage of the higher food abundance by trying to reduce the length of the nestling feeding period. We tested these two ideas using yellow warblers (Dendroica petechia) by providing some pairs with supplemental food, thereby reducing the importance of biparental care. However, the extra food did not decrease paternal effort, nor did it increase it

G. A. Lozano and R. E. Lemon, Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1995) 37:45-59

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