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Title

Distribution of the parental care in the Iberian magpie Cyanopica cooki: Worker males but lazy helpers?

AuthorsDe La Cruz, C.; Expósito-Granados, M.; Valencia, J.
Issue Date2019
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
CitationBehaviour 156: 79- 107 (2019)
AbstractIn many species of cooperative breeding birds, breeders and helpers participate in the parental care with different food provision rules. Normally, helpers feed nestlings less frequently and with smaller quantities of food than breeders. But studies analysing the reaction of feeders to nestling demand are scarce and rarely measure the quantity of food that is actually delivered. In this study, we analysed the provisioning effort of breeders and helpers in the Iberian Magpie, Cyanopica cooki, and how this effort varies with brood demand. We did so by measuring the nestling feeding rate and the biomass supply of each individual. In this way, we obtained a more accurate measurement of the investment assumed by each individual belonging to each status. We found that breeding males visited the nest more often than both breeding females and helpers (mean = 2.24; 0.85 and 1.58, respectively). Furthermore, breeding males delivered more biomass in each feeding visit to the nest than those from other statuses. Breeders, both male and female, increased their parental effort (i.e., provisioning rate and biomass) when brood demand was higher (i.e., more siblings and older nestlings), whereas helpers contributed differently to the nest, but depending on the two types of helpers occurring in this species. Differences in the possible benefits obtained by breeders and helpers may explain these different strategies. In addition, male and female breeders (but not helpers) reduce the feeding rate throughout the breeding season. Thus, in the Iberian magpie, breeders and helpers reveal different patterns of investment depending on nestling food demand.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003531
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/204760
Identifiersdoi: 10.1163/1568539X-00003531
issn: 1568-539X
Appears in Collections:(EEZA) Artículos
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