Sex Differences in the Tendency for Brown-Headed Cowbirds and Red-Winged Blackbirds to Re-Enter a Decoy Trap
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v76, n6 (November, 1976), 264-267
Female Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds re-entered a decoy trap with greater frequency than did the males. It appeared that this difference in behavior was due to the location of the trap in the breeding territories of these two species. Although the Brown-headed Cowbird is a nest parasite, it does exhibit many of the same breeding territorial relationships between the sexes as the Red-winged Blackbird, which is polygynous. The female Red-winged Blackbird does all of the nest building, incubation of the young, care of the nestlings, and most of the fledging of the immatures while the males desert their breeding territories for a time each day. This behavior alone would explain females' greater re-entry in the trap. The trap, with its decoys, is a social stimulant and the female may be more susceptible to such a stimulus.
Author Institution: Department of Psychology and Department of Zoology, The Ohio State University
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