Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 373–381 | Cite as

Do savannah sparrows commit the concorde fallacy?

  • Patrick J. Weatherhead
Article

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.

     

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References

  1. Barash, D.P.: Evolutionary aspects of parental behavior: The distraction behavior of the alpine accentor, Prunella collaris. Wilson Bull. 87, 367–373 (1975)Google Scholar
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  3. Dawkins, R., Carlisle, T.R.: Parental investment, mate desertion and a fallacy. Nature 262, 131–133 (1976)Google Scholar
  4. Maynard Smith, J.: Parental investment: A prospective analysis. Anim. Behav. 25, 1–9 (1977)Google Scholar
  5. Potter, P.E.: Territorial behavior in savannah sparrows in south-eastern Michigan. Wilson Bull. 84, 48–59 (1972)Google Scholar
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  7. Trivers, R.L.: Parental investment and sexual selection. Campbell, B. (ed.), pp. 136–179. Sexual selection and the descent of man 1871–1971. Chicago: Aldine 1972Google Scholar
  8. Weatherhead, P.J.: Ecological correlates of monogamy in tundra-breeding savannah sparrows. Auk (in press) (1979)Google Scholar
  9. Welsh, D.A.: Savannah sparrow breeding and territoriality on a Nova Scotia dune beach. Auk 92, 235–251 (1975)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick J. Weatherhead
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada

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