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      Patterns of female nest attendance and male feeding throughout the incubation period in Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus

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      Ibis

      Wiley

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          Evolution of passerine incubation behavior: influence of food, temperature, and nest predation.

          Incubation behavior is one component of reproductive effort and thus influences the evolution of life-history strategies. We examined the relative importance of body mass, frequency of mate feeding, food, nest predation, and ambient temperature to explain interspecific variation in incubation behavior (nest attentiveness, on- and off-bout durations, and nest trips per hour) using comparative analyses for North American passerines in which only females incubate. Body mass and frequency of mate feeding explained little variation in incubation behavior. We were also unable to detect any influence of foot; diet and foraging strategy explained little interspecific variation in incubation behavior. However, the typical temperature encountered during reproduction explained significant variation in incubation behavior: Species breeding in colder environments take shorter bouts off the nest, which prevents eggs from cooling to temperatures below the physiological zero temperature. These species must compensate for shorter off-bouts by taking more of them (thus shorter on-bouts) to obtain needed energy for incubation. Nest predation also explains significant variation in incubation behavior among passerines: Species that endure high nest predation have evolved an incubation strategy (long on- and off-bouts) that minimizes activity that could attract predators. Nest substrate explained additional variation in incubation behavior (cavity-nesting birds have shorter on-bouts and make more frequent nest trips), presumably because nest predation and/or temperature varies among nest substrates. Thus, nest predation can influence reproductive effort in a way previously not demonstrated--by placing a constraint on parental activity at the nest. Incubating birds face an ecological cost associated with reproductive effort (predation of entire brood) that should be considered in future attempts to explain avian life-history evolution.
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            A new view of avian life-history evolution tested on an incubation paradox

             Thomas Martin (2002)
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              Effects of ambient temperature on avian incubation behavior

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ibis
                Ibis
                Wiley
                00191019
                May 25 2018
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics; Max Planck Institute for Ornithology; Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 82319 Seewiesen Germany
                Article
                10.1111/ibi.12614
                © 2018

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