Article

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 373-381

Do savannah sparrows commit the concorde fallacy?

  • Patrick J. WeatherheadAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Queen's University

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Summary

  1. 1.

    The nest defense behavior of a tundra population of savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) was examined to determine the relative importance of past investment and future prospects in determining the observed patterns.

     
  2. 2.

    A comparison of birds initiating nests at various times of the breeding season indicated that the change in renesting potential within a breeding season had little influence on the birds' behavior.

     
  3. 3.

    For a monomorphic, monogamous passerine the prospective reproductive success for males and females is expected to be quite similar. However, the respective patterns of nest defense behavior differed considerably (Figs. 1 and 2) and most closely reflected past investment. These results are discussed in light of parental investment theory.