Male plumage, paternal care and reproductive success in yellow warblers,Dendroica petechia

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) Science Article 13


Using morphological or behavioural features correlated with paternal care, females can, priorto mating, assess the potential parental contribution of males. As a first step in a study of female matechoice in yellow warblers, this study was designed to examine the importance of paternal care by malesof diVering chest striping. Contrary to a previous report, paternal care was not negatively correlatedwith male chest striping. Paternal care was highly variable between individuals. Females did notcompensate for experimentally induced reductions of paternal care, which resulted in significantlyreduced nestling growth. Therefore, in the absence of alternative mating opportunities, males mustmaintain their contributions of paternal care or pay the cost of reduced fitness.

G. A. LOZANO & R. E. LEMON, Anim. Behav., 1996, 51, 265-272

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