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← Great tits join mobs with neighbours they know

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by chris 116

WIKI

one German study showed that 40% of nests contained some offspring fathered by parents other than the breeding male.

I know nothing of avian adultery but I'm guessing that a close neighbour would be a more likely adulterer. Could this be a factor in why this behaviour manifests itself only after they've been neighbours for a while?

Of course, this would only explain the neighbouring male's interest. If the female is as often the first to join in the neighbour's defence, then I suppose it must be a case of reciprocal altruism. But if studies showed that it was invariably the male who was first into the fray, then this could simply be him defending possible offspring and his mate backing up her partner.

Thu, 26 Apr 2012 07:33:38 UTC | #937405