Red-winged Blackbirds: Decision-making and Reproductive Success
Drawing on detailed data from their sixteen-year study of red-winged blackbirds in the marshes of Washington's Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, Beletsky and Orians analyze the information redwings use to make breeding-season decisions and the consequences these decisions have for lifetime reproductive success. Because male and female redwings make different, and often independent, decisions—males focus on territory acquisition and maintenance, while females must choose when and where to nest and how much energy to invest in reproduction—the authors have taken the novel approach of studying the sexes separately.
Using analyses of observational data combined with field experiments and game-theoretical models, the authors provide new insights into the complex patterns of reproductive decision-making and breeding behavior in redwings. This book will be of interest to all who study social animals, including behavioral ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and ornithologists.
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acquire territories adult floaters aggression assess average behavior Beletsky and Orians birds Blackbirds breeding season breeding success cattail challenge CNWR contests copulations core marshes correlated determine dominance relationships early egg dates emergent vegetation environmental EPCs establish territories evicted female redwings female settling female's fidelity fledging success food supplies foraging Frog Lake gain territories habitat hold territories hypothesis incubation individuals influence initiation of breeding Juvenile Pocket locations male redwings male territories mates monitor neighbors nest predation nesting success nests started number of territories obtained territories offspring opportunity costs original owners passerines patterns polygynous primary females probably Red-winged Blackbird redwing breeding relative removal experiments renest replacements reproductive success result searching Searcy settling decisions sexual selection species study area subadults successful nests survival territo territorial dominance territorial males territory acquisition territory owners tion trapped vacancies value asymmetries variability weather Weatherhead week Yasukawa yearlings Yellow-headed Blackbirds yellowheads