PLUME VARIATION, BREEDING PERFORMANCE AND EXTRA-PAIR COPULATIONS IN THE CATTLE EGRET by ELIZABETH A. KREBS 1,2,3) , WAYNE HUNTE 1) and DAVID J. GREEN 1,4) ( 1 Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, P.Q., H3A 1B1, Canada and Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University, St. James, Barbados, West Indies; 2 Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada) (Acc. 6-II-2004) Summary We investigate how variation in breeding plumes in uences pairing patterns, extra-pair copu- lations and breeding performance in the colonial cattle egret ( Bubulcus ibis ibis ). The breed- ing plumes of both male and female cattle egrets varied from almost none, to lush head, back and scapular plumes. Overall, male breeding plumes were longer and darker than those of females, but we observed the full range of plume development in both sexes. Plume develop- ment was positively correlated within breeding pairs. Females may be more selective in mate choice since they only paired with males with similar or better plumes and only accepted extra-pair copulations when the male had plumes that were greater than or equal to those of their mates. Males, in contrast frequently paired with females
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2004
Keywords: MATE CHOICE; PARENTAL CARE; SEXUAL SELECTION; ORNAMENTATION; EXTRA-PAIR COPULATIONS; MONOGAMY
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