Intra‐pair Cooperation, Fledgling Care, and Renesting by Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos)

Julia Zaias, Randall Breitwisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Male and female northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos) cooperated in dividing labor between care of fledglings and renesting. This study during two breeding seasons demonstrated a temporal division of labor in this multi‐brooded passerine. Both parents fed newly fledged young. One to four days after young fledged, males reduced feeding rates and began nest‐building. Males delayed initiation of nest construction in proportion to the number of fledglings present. During nest‐building, females provided more food to fledglings. Mates then switched roles. Females finished building nests, laid the next clutches, and began incubation; males fed fledglings until they were independent. Within pairs, males fed fledglings more than did females in one of two years. Both sexes defended fledglings against potential predators, although males provided stronger and more frequent defense. This is the first detailed description of a monogamous passerine that clearly demonstrates lack of brood division while renesting. Division of broods is largely precluded by the temporal division of labor, a behavioral mechanism increasing the probability of renesting. Attempts at renesting, in turn, are favored by a high level of nest predation in this population. 1989 Blackwell Verlag GmbH

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-110
Number of pages17
JournalEthology
Volume80
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

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Mimus
labor division
nests
passerine
nest
nest predation
breeding season
fledglings
co-operation
labor
incubation
predator
predation
predators
food
gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Intra‐pair Cooperation, Fledgling Care, and Renesting by Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos). / Zaias, Julia; Breitwisch, Randall.

In: Ethology, Vol. 80, No. 1-4, 1989, p. 94-110.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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