Female brood desertion increases with number of available mates in the Rock Sparrow

  • Pilastro A
  • Biddau L
  • Marin G
 et al. 
  • 44

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 47

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

We studied the reproductive strategy of a Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia popula- tion, breeding in nest boxes in the Western Alps (Italy). Over seven years of study (1991–1997) 19% of the females laid second clutches after successfully fledging the first one. Among these, about 50% deserted the first nest when nestlings were 14.3 d old (range=8–19 d), 3.6 d before fledging (range=1–8 d). In all these cases the primary male mate took over all parental duties and successfully reared the young. Inter-clutch time of deserting females was 8.1 d shorter than that of non-deserting double-brooded females. The breeding success of deserting females was significantly greater than that of both single-brooded females and double-brooded females that did not desert their first brood. The fledging success of the second clutches depended on the status of the secondary male: females paired with previously unpaired males had a higher fledging success than those that paired with a polygynous male. The frequency of deserting females varied among years from 0 to 16%, and was signifi- cantly and positively correlated with the frequency of males available as mates at the time of desertion. In this study we showed that sequential polyandry with brood desertion is a regularly occurring strategy in the female Rock Sparrow.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Andrea Pilastro

  • Luca Biddau

  • Guglielmo Marin

  • Toni Mingozzi

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free