Population Endocrinology of the Female Pied Flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca

  • B. Silverin
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


The Pied flycatcher is definitely one of the most studied bird species in Europe, and its breeding ecology is well known (e.g., von Haartman 1949, 195la, 1954, Curio 1959, Askenmo 1977). The species is a long-distance migrant and during the breeding period it is common in most parts of Europe. It breeds both in tree cavities and in artificial nest boxes. The flycatcher territory, whose main function is to secure the ownership of a nest hole, is very small and centres around the nest hole. The Pied flycatcher is a polygamous species. This gives successful males an advantage in that they enhance their fitness and produce more offspring than a female or a monogamous male (Askenmo 1977, Alatalo et al. 1982). An obvious question in this connection is: why does a female mate with an already mated male, as this implies that she will have to feed the nestlings without any assistance from the male, one result of which is lowered fledgling success. A recent study by Alatalo et al. (1982) has shown that it is more than likely that the male, by being polyterritorial, quite simply deceives the female, as she is unable to detect whether he has already mated.


Brood Size Pied Flycatcher Ficedula Hypoleuca Enlarge Brood Nest Hole 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Silverin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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