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Male and female Blackbirds (Turdus merula) respond similarly to the risk of nest predation

AutorIbáñez-Álamo, Juan Diego; Soler, Manuel
Palabras claveNest predation
Turdus merula
Sex differences
Anti-predator strategies
Parental care
Fecha de publicación2017
EditorBlackwell Publishing
CitaciónJOURNAL OF ORNITHOLOGY 158: 533- 539 (2017)
ResumenSeveral studies have found that adult birds of altricial species adjust their parental care behaviour (i.e. nest visits) in response to the current risk of predation for their offspring. However, no experimental study has so far investigated whether there are sex differences in these passive anti-predator responses during the nestling period. Differences between males and females could arise because of several factors, including (1) probability of detection, (2) confidence in parenthood, and (3) different parental care behaviour associated with each sex. To test whether these anti-predator passive responses involve sex differences, we experimentally manipulated the perceived risk of nest predation of adult Common Blackbirds (Turdus merula), a sexually dimorphic species with a relatively high extra-pair paternity level. Our results showed that nest predation significantly reduced adult visits to the nest, but not differentially between males and females, which does not support our predictions. Our findings suggest (1) that sex differences in predator-induced behaviour could depend on the type of response (active vs. passive anti-predator strategies); (2) the potential existence of a minimum threshold in detectability between males and females for these behavioural changes to occur; and (3) the contrasting and opposite effects of several factors that might impede the selection of sex differences in these types of parental care behaviour.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/155726
DOI10.1007/s10336-016-1403-x
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1007/s10336-016-1403-x
issn: 0021-8375
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