08 December 2009

Courtship and Mating

Read about bowerbirds in your text, since I will not cover them here. Courtship is fairly descriptive natural history--it's amazing how much remains to be done. We watched Vermillion Flycatchers in Arizona court, only to read a paper on it the next year in a national journal. Their courtship had not been officially described when we watched them! I will limit this lecture to a discussion of pair-bonds.

There are 3 types:
1. monogamy (90% of birds) 1 male; 1 female. Usually for one season but sometimes permanent in long-lived species that are either nonmigratory or that winter together. Some albatrosses always come back to exactly the same spot.
2. polygamy (9%), Lasting pair bonds with a) polygyny = 1 male + 2 females; b) polyandry = 1 female + 2 males
3. promiscuity (1%) These birds are either random maters or form leks.
Once birds court, they then begin NESTING.

Northern Jacana

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