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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Scott M. Ramsay

Divorce and extrapair mating in female black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus): separate strategies with a common target.

Scott M. Ramsay, Ken A. Otter, Daniel J. Mennill and Laurene M. Ratcliffe

published: 2000 | Research publication | Chickadees

The results in this study show a preference in female chickadees to form partnerships with high-rank males, but because of constraints imposed by other females, individuals may be forced to choose a lower-rank partner rather than forego breeding altogether. The two behaviours, extrapair mating and divorce, are related by the common thread of choice for high-rank males, and may reflect constraints imposed on some females to form partnerships with suboptimal males. Extrapair paternity is not a form of mate sampling: females did not show a tendency to divorce for their previous extrapair partners.

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revised Jul 19/05

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