The Monogamy Method

Make Him a Monogamy Junkie

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Behavior And Reproduction

Kiwis are shy, night birds with a keen sense of smell. They are monogamous, meaning they mate with only one partner. They pair up for at least two or three breeding seasons and sometimes for life. The female usually digs a nest in the ground where she lays one or two large eggs, weighing about 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) each.

Conservation Status

Behavior and reproduction Brown kiwis are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. During the day, they sleep in dens or burrows. They are monogamous, meaning they mate with only one partner during one or more breeding seasons. They live in pairs and are territorial, meaning they are protective of an area they consider home and claim exclusively for themselves. A brown kiwi pair's territory ranges from 12 to 106 acres (5 to 43 hectares).

Reproductive biology

The male selects the nest site and establishes the territory. Intruders are chased in the air and on the ground. The male courtship-feeds the female, after which activity copulation usually takes place. The monogamous pair often fly slowly round the territory, one behind the other, raising and lowering their crests.

Somateria spectabilis

Behavior and reproduction Eiders migrate in a straight line. They are seasonally monogamous, and the male leaves the female midway through incubation. Females lay four to five eggs into holes in the ground that have little lining. Incubation lasts twenty-two to twenty-four days. Ducklings are ready to breed at three years.

Reproductive behavior

Sexual dichromatism is uncommon in piciforms. Most often, males and females look alike, probably because birds that maintain a year-round monogamous pair bond do not require elaborate courtship displays. In woodpeckers, though males and females often have different plumages, the differences between the sexes tend to be subtle, involving the color of nape patches

Laterallus jamaicensis

Behavior and reproduction Black rails are territorial during the breeding season. Some populations migrate while others remain in the same place throughout the year. Most black rails are monogamous, although in rare instances a male may breed with multiple females (polygamy). In the United States black rails breed in the summer. In other parts of its range breeding occurs during the rainy season. Black rails nest in low vegetation, where they build a bowl-shaped nest out of grass. The nest is covered with a woven canopy. Females lay anywhere from two to thirteen eggs at a time. Eggs hatch after seventeen to twenty days.

Rostratula benghalensis

Greater painted snipes are either polyandrous, with each female mating with multiple males, or monogamous, with each female mating with only one male. The greater painted snipe may breed at any time during the year, but most frequently breeds after rainfalls. Females usually lay four eggs at a time in a shallow grass bowl-shaped nest. Nests are usually hidden in moist vegetation. Males are responsible for incubating, or sitting on, the eggs. Chicks hatch after fifteen to twenty-one days. Greater painted snipe chicks are precocial, and are usually able to leave the nest fairly quickly after hatching. Chicks are cared for exclusively by the male.

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

Behavior and reproduction Killdeer get their name from their call, which sounds like killdee killdee. Killdeer are often found in small or medium-sized flocks that may include other species of shorebirds. Some populations are migratory while others remain in the same place year-round. Pairs defend territories from other members of the species during the breeding season, and sometimes during the winter as well. Killdeer are monogamous, with a single male breeding with a single female. Often, individuals keep the same mate from one year to the next. Nests are either scraped on the ground or built on gravel-covered

African Snipe Gallinago nigripennis

Behavior and reproduction When disturbed, African snipes make a harsh calling noise and escape using a characteristic zigzag flight. Male African snipes attract females by making a drumming noise with their tail feathers. African snipes are monogamous, with a single male mating with a single female. Breeding occurs during or after the rainy season. The female lays two to three eggs at a time, generally in a hidden grassy area on moist or wet ground.

Greater doublecollared sunbird

Monogamous, but extra-pair copulations probably common, judging by frequency of cloaca-pecking. Female builds nest using spider webs to hold together grasses, bark twigs, rags, feathers, wool, and other debris into oval shape. Nest lined with feathers and wool, decorated with large leaves, lichen, and even cloth, and either placed in bush or suspended. Two heavily marked whitish eggs are laid at any time of year and incubated by female only for two weeks. Nestlings cared for by both parents for two weeks. Fledglings return to nest to roost for first few nights. May be triple-brooded. Parasitized by Klaas's cuckoo.

Eurystomus orientalis

They are monogamous birds that breed in the summer. The breeding pair will defend their nesting territory. Dollarbirds use loud calling and aerobatics, spectacular flying stunts, in courtship rituals. Females lay three or four eggs, which are laid in high tree hollows, sometimes in woodpecker holes. Nests are often used several years in a row. The incubation period is twenty-two to twenty-three days. Both parents feed the chicks. Parents and chicks leave for wintering areas when chicks are able to fly.

Whitethroated sparrow

The nest is placed on or near the ground in areas where there are small trees interspersed with low vegetation. Nesting occurs from late May through early July. Three to seven (usually four) eggs are incubated for 11-13 days, and young fledge after 8-9 days. Both parents feed the young.

Campephilus principalis

Behavior and reproduction Ivory-billed woodpeckers have a territory of about 6 square miles (15.5 square kilometers). They are often seen in family groups. Their call is a sad-sounding single-or double-note tooting one such sound is a clarinetlike yank-yank-yank. The birds are monogamous. They breed from January through April in North America and March through June in Cuba. They build nest cavities in large dead trees or in live trees with fungus. Nests are usually built 24 to 50 feet (7.3 to 15.2 meters) off the ground with a cavity often 2 feet (6 meters) in depth. Females lay two to four eggs. The incubation and fledgling periods are not known, but both parents incubate and take care of young.

Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus

The breeding season of the monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), having only one mate, birds is in the spring-summer, September to February. Rufous horneros will defend their breeding territory, where they construct a large nest made up of thousands of small clumps of moist mud, clay, some dung, and straw carried to a nest site with their bills. The inside of the nest is lined with bits of grasses and stems. The spherical, oven-shaped structure is usually placed on a tree stump, fencepost, telephone pole, or rooftop but can also be placed on older nests, bare ground, or rock. The entrance is usually placed on the side of the nest. Two to five eggs are laid from September to December. The incubation period is fourteen to eighteen days. Both males and females incubate eggs and take care of the nestlings. The nestling period is twenty-three to twenty-six days.

Brownandyellow marshbird

Nests are placed in marshes, but often in vegetation at the edge of marshes they also nest in wet roadside ditches. Females build the nest that often is placed in the center of a tuft of pampas grass. Clutch size is 4-5 eggs, which are laid late September-December. Information on incubation and fledging are not available. Often several helper adults will help feed the young in a nest the relationship of these adults to the young is not known.

Atrichornis rufescens

Behavior and reproduction Remaining sedentary within well-defined territories for their entire adult lives, rufous scrub-birds dislike disturbance and will run mouse-like into thick foliage at the slightest threat. The species is alert and forages with enthusiasm, but is shy and evasive in general. The female rufous is even more elusive. Because of their underdeveloped wings, rufous scrub-birds run when threatened, instead of flying. During breeding season in September to November (Australia's spring), males use their elevated and fanned tails, lowered wings, and loud, melodious song to woo their partners. They can mimic other birdcalls well, but also use a species-specific chip sound. Rufous scrub-birds are typically monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus). Females occupy small areas on the outside of their mates' territories. The birds prefer to have widely spaced territories, with males marking and occupying about 2.5 acres (1 hectare) each, ideally. Females take sole responsibility for their...

American cliff swallow

Builds a bulb-shaped nest of clay beneath a sheltering projection on a cliff. They may also nest beneath overhanging eaves of a building, within the structure of a bridge, or on protected places on a dam. A social species that nests in colonies of various size. The clutch size is usually three to four eggs. The eggs are incubated by the female, but both parents feed the young.

Spragues Pipit Anthus spragueii

Behavior and reproduction This solitary and secretive pipit species is known for flying high into the air when startled. They are also noted for their beautiful, arcing song-flight during mating season in April and May. Mating pairs are monogamous, and build a cup-shaped nest of grass and stems on the ground where tall grass can fall over the structure. The female lays four to seven eggs, and fledglings leave the nest in ten to eleven days.

Graycrowned rosy finch

The female chooses the breeding territory and the male follows and defends the female from other males. Breeding pairs are monogamous and loosely colonial. The female builds a cup-shaped nest of grass, rootlets, lichen, and moss, lined with fine grass, plant down, and feathers. The nest is sited in clefts of rock and cliffs, or sometimes in a cave or the eaves of a building. A clutch of four to five whitish eggs occasionally dotted with reddish brown are incubated by the female for 12-14 days. The altricial young are brooded by the female and fed by both sexes. Both males and females develop a gular pouch in the upper throat with an opening in the floor of the mouth so that they can carry larger amounts of seed back to their young. The young fledge in 16-22 days. Birds breeding in the mountains have one brood per year those living in lower tundra have as many as two.

Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus

The cactus wren is monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus). The breeding nest is an oval-like ball with a side entrance hole that is made of dry grasses and fibers lined with feathers. They are usually located right in spiny cacti and no effort is made to hide them. The female usually lays three to five eggs, though the number can range from two to seven, and they are light brown or pinkish in color with tiny speckles of reddish brown. The female alone incubates the eggs in a period that can last sixteen days. The newly hatched and young birds are fed by both sexes for nineteen to twenty-three days. The cactus wren might attempt up to six broods a year, though usually only three of those are successfully reared.

Chalcoparia singalensis

Behavior and reproduction Ruby-cheeked sunbirds forage in tropical forests, in the canopy and at mid-level, usually in groups of five to ten. They also visit gardens for foraging. The call is a loud chirp. Breeding follows the usual pattern among sunbirds monogamous breeding pairs, purse-like nests, female incubating eggs, and both parents caring for the chicks.

Passerculus sandwichensis

Savanna sparrows are usually monogamous, but males are sometimes bigamists (having two mates). Some marsh-dwelling species are polygynous. Nests are woven into the shape of a cup made with grasses and other vegetation. Nests are made on the ground or in a slight depression that is partly covered by grasses or other vegetation. From February to August, females lay one to two clutches of two to six eggs. The incubation period is ten to thirteen days and the

Australian magpielark

Magpie-larks breed in monogamous pairs that tend to stay together for life (though Michelle Hall's study showed the occasional divorce when a better option presented itself ). Males and females share parental care, and may rear more than one clutch over the breeding season. Most juveniles leave their natal territory when they reach independence, though some remain over winter. After leaving their natal territories, juveniles join large semi-nomadic flocks until they form pairs and establish their own territories.

Evolution and systematics

The Ptilonorhynchidae comprises 20 species of compact, robust, oscinine songbirds. Three species of socially monogamous and territorial catbirds belong to the genus Ailuroedus. The 17 known or presumed polygynous species consist of one Scenopoeetes, four Amblyornis, one Archboldia, one Prionodura, four Sericulus, one Ptilonorhynchus, and five Chlamydera species.

Crinklecollared manucode

Socially pair-bonded non-territorial monogamy with both sexes presumed to incubate and provision nestlings, as in other manucodes. Breeding during at least July through September, and in January. Nest is a shallow open cup suspended by its rim from a branch fork. Clutch is one or two eggs. In being monogamous, Manucodia provide an interesting contrast to the majority of polygynous family members for socio-ecological study.

Vinousthroated parrotbill

Male constructs outer framework of deep bowl-shaped nest of grass and various fibers, in small trees, bamboo, dense grass, or thickets. Female assists in lining with moss, cobwebs, hair, etc. Thirteen-day incubation of 3-5 blue-green or white eggs shared by parents.

OFILE Redwinged Blackbird

Sparrow Egg Incubation Period

The male yellow-winged blackbird (Agelaius thilius) is black, like the red-wing, but has yellow shoulders and underwing coverts. Like the red-wing, the yellow-winged blackbird marks the arrival of spring with song. It is the southern counterpart of the red-wing, found over the southerly parts of South America, from Bolivia and southern Brazil to Patagonia. The yellow-winged blackbird remains monogamous during its lifetime and is not territorial, unlike its close relative. Males often fly in flocks of 30-40, remaining apart from larger groups of females and the young outside of the breeding season.

Plectrophenax nivalis

Snow buntings are for the most part monogamous birds, but sometimes males or females will have two mates. Nesting occurs from late May through July. Nests are made with dried grassy plants, lichens, and grasses, and look like a large, thick-walled bulky cup. They are constructed on the ground, frequently in rock crevices. Sometimes they build nests in birdhouses and other artificial structures. Females lay between three to nine eggs, but usually from four to seven. The incubation period is from ten to fifteen days, and the fledgling period is from ten to seventeen days after hatching. Both in the breeding pair feed and take care of young.

Apprentice Behavior In Bower Birds

The family includes species with socially monogamous and polygynous mating systems. Monogamous pairs of catbirds defend an all-purpose territory. Males do not assist with nest building, incubation, or brooding of nestlings (which they do feed). The promiscuous males of the 17 polygynous bowerbirds defend only the immediate area of their bowers. A seasonal hyperabundance of fruits permits promiscuous males to spend inordinate amounts of time at their courts, in attracting courting females, while also permitting females to nest and provision their offspring unaided.

Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus

Eclectus Parrot

Behavior and reproduction Eclectus parrots are monogamous and are believed to breed year-round. However, they are thought to mate mostly between August and January. Birds are group-oriented, and there may be four nests in a tree. The parrots are cooperative breeders, parents are helped by other birds. The assistants are thought to be offspring or adult relatives of the expectant parents. The female has a clutch of two eggs that hatch in twenty-six days.

OFILE Himalayan Snowcock

Himalayan Snowcock

Males and females look similar, but the monogamous males have rear tarsal spurs, which are used in fights with other male snowcocks for females. Males and females look similar, but the monogamous males have rear tarsal spurs, which are used in fights with other male snowcocks for females.

Behavior Of Brubru Bird

Bush-shrikes are generally seen singly or in pairs, but small parties, probably family groups, have been recorded. They appear to be monogamous and territorial, but very little is known about the social organization of many species, as their tendency to keep to thick cover makes them difficult to observe. One of the easiest to spot is the beautiful, long-tailed, rosy-patched shrike (Tchagra cruentus), which lives in dry bush areas in eastern Africa. Its noisy family groups are constantly active, flying low or hopping on the ground. Members of a pair may be conspicuous in breeding time, when they project their melodious whistles from the top of a bush. Song is an important means of communication in tropical forests or dense shrub and often betrays the presence of bush-shrikes. Malaconotus species project many sounds, including distinctive, far-carrying whistles and bell-like phrases. Laniarius are well-known for their extraordinary duet-songs what appears to be the call of a single...

Ivorybilled woodpecker

Monogamous known to breed from January through April in North America and March through June in Cuba, but few data are available. Nest cavity is in a large dead tree or in a live tree with extensive heartrot. Recorded nests have been 24-50 ft (7.3-15.2 m) up cavity entrance typically taller than wide, but shape varies. Clutch 2-4 eggs incubation by both parents incubation period and age at fledging not known young may remain with parents until next breeding season.

Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus

Behavior and reproduction Mating is at first monogamous, later changing to polygamous, meaning that the birds begin with one mate each and the male eventually finds other females to mate with. After the male has built one nest and attracted and mated with a female, he builds another nest and tries to entice another female to move in. One male may support up to five females in five nests.

Breeding Systems And Social Organization

Coloniality may result from conspecific-based habitat selection, where individuals use the reproductive success of conspecifics to assess and select nesting sites. Or it may have evolved in the context of sexual selection and competition for breeding partners, by increasing the opportunities for individuals to assess the secondary sexual characteristics of potential mates (Danchin and Wagner 1997). This seems unlikely in seabirds given their high degree of social and genetic monogamy (see below), although it could facilitate the identification and selection of potential alternative mates for subsequent breeding seasons (Dubois et al. 1998). See Chapter 6 for details. Seabirds are predominantly socially monogamous, with little evidence of polygyny, polyandry, communal, or cooperative nesting. This monogamy may be related to the need for biparental care, although each can occur without the other (Mock and Fujioka 1990). Exceptions to social monogamy occur in local populations of several...

Stilts And Avocets Recurvirostridae

Most stilts and avocets are monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), with a single male breeding with a single female at one time. Birds may change mates over the course of a breeding season, however. To attract females, males perform a display that involves dipping their heads, shaking, and then preening, or smoothing their feathers. After mating, the male and female

Phaps Phassa Phatta Phattion

( ay, acca, arca, araov G, palumbes, -is, -a, -bula, -us, teta, titus L) Phatta (with its diminutive form in -ion) is the common word in Attic Greek (cf. Lucian Judicium Vocalium 8) for Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus), the spelling Phassa replaces it in other ancient dialects, and is still the bird's name in modern Greece and (spelled fassa) in Sicily. Phaps is an alternative name for the same bird, except in one passage from a lost work by Aristotle (fr. 347 Rose, cited by Athenaeus 353f and Aelian VH 1.15 cf. Eustathius 1712.42-43 on Odyssey 12.62) which implies that while Phatta is the largest Greek Pigeon (Woodpigeon, at a length of 42-40 cm, is by far the largest of European Pigeons), Phaps is a smaller Pigeon, being the third in size in a list of five different kinds of Pigeon. It is sensible to assume that what Aristotle is alleged to have written here was either a careless error on his part or a miscopying by Athenaeus or a later scribe. Elsewhere (HA 593a15-16) Aristotle...

Yellowbellied eremomela

Breeds primarily during monsoon season. Nest is deep cup of plant down and spider silk, lined with grass, and suspended from fork of a shrub or tree. One to three eggs are incubated 13-14 days by female nestlings, fed by both parents, leave after 15-16 days, fed by parents additional two or more weeks.

Bluegray gnatcatcher

During courtship, the male leads the female to potential nest sites. The nest, built by both sexes, is a neat cup of plant fibers often camouflaged and placed high on a branch or fork of a tree or shrub. Four or five eggs are incubated by both parents for 11-15 days. Female broods the nestlings, but later both sexes feed young. Fledging occurs after 10-15 days.

Icterine warbler

Nest is neat cup of plant material, decorated on outside with bark, paper, wool, etc., built by female in fork of shrub or tree. Four to five eggs incubated by female for 13-15 days young, cared for by both parents, leave nest after 12-16 days, independent after 1-2 weeks.

Superb fairywren

Socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, with males wandering into adjacent territories, often carrying yellow flower petals to attract females males may father less than half of the offspring produced in their territory. Clutch is three to four red-spotted, white eggs. Female incubates for two weeks fledging in 10-14 days.

Courol

Monogamous breeds October-January 2-4 white eggs laid in tree hollow incubation by female probably 20 days chicks fed by both parents, fledging at 30 days. Breeding by courols also takes place during summer monsoon season, when a clutch of up to four white eggs is laid in a hollow limb or tree hole, and incubation by the female lasts at least 20 days. Newly hatched chicks are down covered.

Anas platyrhynchos

Males and females search for nesting ground together. The female lays eight to twelve eggs in her ground nest. Incubation lasts twenty-seven to twenty-eight days, during which the male leaves the female to join a new flock. Ducklings fly between the age of fifty and sixty days and are ready to breed at one year. Mallards are seasonally monogamous, have just one mate per season, and have been known to breed with other species.

Aix sponsa

Pairs form in the fall and are seasonally monogamous. The female lays anywhere from six to fifteen eggs in nests that are actually holes in tree trunks or former woodpecker holes. Incubation lasts twenty-eight to thirty-seven days, and the male leaves just a few days before ducklings hatch. Young leave the nest within two days and are ready to mate at one year. Snapping turtles are the primary predators of eggs and ducklings.

Lagopus lagopus

The willow ptarmigan is monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus having just one mate) and each pair has its own territory. Nesting starts anywhere from April to June, depending on the latitude. The female lays eight to eleven eggs and incubates them for twenty-two days. Males keep newly hatched chicks warm. Chicks fly at the age of ten to twelve days. Families stay together until the fall.

Esacus magnirostris

Behavior and reproduction Beach thick-knees fly away when disturbed, usually over the water. Beach thick-knees are monogamous. The nest is usually a shallow depression that is sometimes surrounded by a ring of leaves. The female lays only one egg at a time. The egg hatches after thirty days. The chick is able to fly after twelve weeks, but may stay with its parents for as long as a year.

Vanellus vanellus

Behavior and reproduction Northern lapwings have been found in flocks of as many as 5,000 individuals, although flocks of about 100 are more common. Northern lapwings are usually monogamous, but there is some polygyny. Females usually lay four eggs at a time. These hatch after twenty-four to thirty-four days. Both parents help

Numenius americanus

Behavior and reproduction Long-billed curlews are monogamous, with a single male breeding with a single female. Pairs are territorial, defending their nesting area from other pairs. Females lay three to five eggs at a time, generally in short grass. Eggs hatch after twenty-seven or twenty-eight days.

Chionis minor

Behavior and reproduction Black-faced sheathbills do not migrate, but remain in one place throughout the year. Pairs defend their territories from other sheathbills all year round. Black-faced sheathbills are most often associated with colonies of king penguins. Black-faced sheathbills are monogamous, with a single male breeding with a single female. The female lays two to three eggs in December or January, with breeding at the same time as that of the seabirds among which they live. Chicks hatch after twenty-seven to thirty-three days.

Future Research

The points considered in the above sections return several times to unique or characteristic features of seabirds having vast colonies, most species being colonial, monogamy, and long feeding trips during the breeding season. It seems likely that, ultimately, the functions of colonial breeding in seabirds will be found to lie within the interactions of such characteristics, but the precise mechanism has probably yet to be recognized. Wittenberger and Hunt (1985) concluded that there was not a single cause of colonial breeding in seabirds (let alone birds in general). A wealth of new general hypotheses indicate that this conclusion has not yet been universally accepted.

Nyctibius griseus

Behavior and reproduction Gray potoos are solitary and monogamous birds. The breeding season when birds mate varies by location for this species found throughout much of Latin America. In Tobago, gray potoos mate between March and May. The female potoo lays one egg. Both parents incubate the egg that hatches in thirty to thirty-three days. The chick fledges, grows its flying feathers, in forty to fifty-one days.

Rosethroated becard

Breeds in monogamous pairs, once per year, and male and female share nest-building duties, although the female carries a larger burden. Nests are spherical and hang from a branch of a deciduous tree. Clutches include two to six eggs, which the female incubates for 15 to 17 days. Juveniles fledge at 19 to 21 days and are fed by both parents.

Western kingbird

Monogamous breeders, in solitary pairs or in small colonies. Nests are built by both sexes, near the trunk on a horizontal limb or on a cross-arm of a human-made structure. Nest is cup-shaped. Clutches of three to seven eggs are incubated 18 to 19 days by the female and young are fed by both parents and fledge after 16 to 17 days.

Actenoides concretus

Monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus) pairs, birds mated only with each other, usually dig nest burrows in earthen banks, but also use rotten tree trunks. They dig out tunnels that end in a nest chamber about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in diameter. Females usually lay two eggs, which are incubated for about twenty-two days.

Willow flycatcher

Nest is cup-shaped and compact, often with hanging streamers, built by female in the fork of a deciduous tree. One clutch per year of two to four eggs, incubated by female for 12 to 15 days. Juveniles remain in the nest for 12 to 14 days, fed by both sexes.

The Mating Game

When courting herons meet, they perform a dance-like ritual, bending and straightening their necks and clashing their beaks together. Such behaviour looks odd to us, but it is full of signals that only the herons can understand. It helps them overcome their wariness of strangers, and strengthens the bond between them. Like most birds, herons are monogamous, which means that couples stay together to raise a family.

Coracias garrulus

They form monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus) pairs, having only one mate, and they strongly defend their nests. Their courtship displays involve deep ascents followed by spectacular twisting dives that show off their wing colors. Croaking and rattling calls (like accompany the display. They breed from May to June, with females laying two to six (usually four) eggs in an un-lined, usually pine or oak, tree hollow, crevice in rock faces, or hole in walls of buildings. The incubation period is between seventeen and nineteen days, performed totally by the females. Both parents feed chicks. The fledgling period, time while the young grow their flying feathers, is twenty-five to thirty days.

Northern flicker

Gilded Flicker Woodpecker

Monogamous often nests in near treeless areas, excavating cavities in utility poles, occasionally dirt banks sometimes uses nest boxes. Not a strong excavator and often uses available cavities. Nesting occurs February-August (earlier in warmer latitudes, later in colder areas). Clutch size 3-12 eggs, 4-9 common incubation 11-12 days by both parents young fledge at 25-28 days. Young are fed by regurgitation. Two broods possible. Often suffers from competition for cavities with the introduced European starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

Snow bunting

Most are monogamous, but individuals of either sex may have two mates. Nesting takes place from late May through July. The nest, which is a large thick-walled bulky cup of dried sedges, grasses, and lichens, is placed on the ground, often in a crevice in rocks. They lay three to nine (usually four to seven) eggs. Incubation lasts 10-15 days, and the young fledge after 10-17 days. Both parents feed the young.

Rock bunting

Eggs are laid from May through July. The nest is placed on or close to the ground and is well concealed in vegetation. They lay three to six (usually four to five) eggs incubation lasts 12-14 days, and young fledge at 10-13 days of age. Both parents feed the young.

Reed bunting

Monogamous, but extrapair fertilizations are common and bigamy occurs in some populations (probably where densities are high). The nesting season is geographically variable. The well-hidden nest is usually placed on the ground but may be placed in a bush or small tree. They lay two to six (usually five) eggs. Incubation lasts 12-15 (commonly 13) days, and the young fledge after 9-13 (usually 10-12) days. Both parents feed the young.

Corn bunting

Mostly monogamous, but in some populations about 20 of the males are polygynous. The nest is placed on the ground in thick tangled grass or in a shrub or depression. They lay two to seven (usually four to five) eggs. Incubation takes 12-14 days, and young fledge in 9-13 days. The female does most of the feeding, but males with more than one mate tend to feed more than males in a monogamous pair.

Picoides borealis

Behavior and reproduction Red-cockaded woodpeckers are noisy birds, with calls of yank-yank, sripp, and tsick. They are monogamous, with a family clan of the mated pair, current young, and un-mated adult helpers. They nest in the roost cavity of the breeding male, which sometimes takes the male one year to finish (but may be used for years). Only living pine trees are used for the roost nest. They spend a lot of time maintaining the flow of tree sap, which is used to stop predator snakes. Females lay two to five eggs. The incubation period is ten to fifteen days, and the fledgling period is twenty-two to twenty-nine days. Both parents and helpers care for young, with only one brood each year.

Acanthisitta chloris

Riflemen are monogamous birds, forming long-lasting pair bonds. Their breeding season is from August to January. Males do most of the construction of the nest. The typical nest is a rather complex structure in a tree crevice, sometimes with a dome-like roof and inside lined with spider webs and mosses. Females lay two to four white eggs. About ten days before and during the egg laying process, males will bring food to females up to nine times an hour. Both parents usually raise two broods, young birds that are born and raised together, each year. The incubation period, time that it takes to sit on eggs before they hatch, is nineteen to twenty-one days. The nestling period, time necessary to take care of young birds unable to leave nest, is twenty-three to twenty-five days, but can last up to sixty days. Eggs weigh about 20 percent of the female's weight, and are laid every other day. Males incubate during the day and females incubate at night. Hatchlings are born in an undeveloped...

Family Life

IN SOME WAYS, THE FAMILY LIVES OF BIRDS are much like our own. More than 90 per cent of bird species are monogamous, which means that males and females form stable couples that work together to raise a family. In some species, such as swans, couples may stay together for life. But despite the appearance of stability and harmony, family life among birds is full of hardship, deceit, and even cruelty. Birds almost always lay more eggs than will reach adulthood, and from the moment they hatch, chicks face a struggle to survive that only the strongest can win.

Yellowbilled cacique

Nests are a cup of leaves and vines, placed within 3 ft (1 m) of the ground. Generally 1-2 eggs are laid. Breeding season varies geographically in Costa Rica nesting takes place in February-June in South America, in NovemberApril. Incubation and fledging times not reported.

Oriole blackbird

The nest is a bulky cup of grasses and other vegetation, built by the female with some help from the male, and placed 20-25 ft (6-8 m) up in a tree. Generally three eggs are laid in August-December in Guyana, and March in Peru. Incubation 18-20 days fledging time not reported.

Chopi blackbird

Chopi blackbirds commonly nest in holes or crevices in trees, fenceposts, banks, other birds' nests, or old buildings. When not nesting in a cavity, the nest is open and cup-shaped, placed in a dense bush or tree. Four to five eggs are laid in September-January. Information on incubation and fledging not available.

Eremophila alpestris

Behavior and reproduction During its song-display, the male horned lark ascends without singing to heights of 300 to 800 feet (91 to 244 meters), where it begins to circle and sing a high-pitched, tinkling song. When it completes the song, the bird closes it wings and drops headfirst, opening its wings and pulling out of the dive at the last possible second. The male also perches on fence posts, rocks, or bushes to sing its mating song. Horned larks are monogamous for at least one mating season (March through July) and prefer to make their cup-shaped nests on the ground in barren, sandy, or stony areas. Females often surround the nest with a ring of pebbles and line it with down, fine grass, and hair. They commonly lay three to five smooth, glossy, pale greenish white and brown-speckled eggs in a clutch at a rate of one per day. Females begin incubating the eggs once the entire clutch has been laid, sitting on the nest for ten to fourteen days. Nestlings, who receive care from both...

Mascarene martin

Builds a simple cup-shaped nest of twigs on a rocky cliff and sometimes on buildings. The clutch size is two to three eggs, and both parents feed the young. Monogamous. Builds a nest at the end of an approximately 3-ft (1-m) long passage dug into an earthen or sandy bank. The clutch consists of three to six white eggs. There are from one to three broods per season, depending on the local food availability.

Motacilla cinerea

Behavior and reproduction Gray wagtails are territorial during the breeding season, March through May. Some defend their feeding areas during winter, when they tend to roost in groups. Mating pairs are monogamous, and the male helps to build the nest, usually on a cliff ledge or among tree roots. The female lays three to seven eggs, and both parents then incubate the young for eleven to fourteen days. The young leave the nest within eleven to seventeen days.

Macronyx ameliae

Behavior and reproduction This shy longclaw is territorial during the breeding season, when the species tends to gather into pairs or family groups. Males usually sing from the tops of bushes or during song-flights. Mating pairs are monogamous and breed mostly during or after seasonal rains. The female builds a cup-shaped nest of grass within a tuft of grass, and lays two to four eggs. The female incubates them for thirteen to fourteen days, and the fledglings leave the nest after sixteen days.

Pericrocotus igneus

Behavior and reproduction Sociable and energetic, fiery minivets are frequent participants in what scientists call mixed-species bird parties, groups that contain a number of bird species. They are believed to be monogamous, with mated pairs working together to build a cup-shaped nest of fine plant parts, spider webs, and lichens, fungus, that they place high in a tree. This species breeds in Palawan's dry season of December and in Malaysia's rainy season that starts in May. The female usually lays two eggs.

Pine grosbeak

Breeding pairs are monogamous and solitary. The female builds a cup-shaped nest of twigs, plant fibers, and rootlets, lined with moss, lichen, fine grass, and rootlets. It is located on the limb of a tree or shrub about 2-25 ft (0.6-7.6 m) above the ground. Two to five blue-green eggs dotted with black, purple, and brown are incubated by the female for 13-15 days. The al-tricial young are brooded by the female, fed by both parents, and fledge in 13-20 days. Like many finches, both males and females develop gular pouches during the nesting season to carry food to their young. One brood per year.

Sialia sialis

Eastern bluebirds tend to be monogamous, usually having two broods a year, and sometimes three. They nest in tree cavities, or holes sometimes it might be in a cavity abandoned by a woodpecker. The female constructs the nest from dry grasses and weeds or pine needles, lining it with grass and sometimes with hair or fur. She lays three to six eggs that are mostly pale blue, though they can also be white. The female incubates the eggs for twelve to fourteen days. When the young are hatched, they are helpless, naked, and blind, and must stay in the nest where they are nourished and cared for by both parents. They grow their flight feathers about fifteen to twenty days after hatching, and remain in the nest for a few weeks after. If the female is preparing for the second brood, the male will take over the care of the young fledglings. In the case of the second brood, the young from the first also join in their care as well.

Saxcola torquata

Behavior and reproduction Stonechats live in pairs or family groups, perching on open bush tops or on the stems of tall grasses, as well as on overhead wires. They are known for their frequent and harsh calls that sound like scoldings. In breeding, they are monogamous and territorial. They build their nests close to the ground in dense growth, and keep them hidden and sheltered from the sun. Their nests are built from grass stems with an entrance tunnel. The female lays four to six eggs, incubating them for thirteen to fourteen days. Newly hatched young grow their flight feathers after thirteen days.

Bluebilled malimbe

Solitary and monogamous, although sometimes several pairs nest close together. Male courtship, singing and posturing, occurs away from the nest. Nest is ball-shaped, woven from palm strips, rootlets, or fibers, with canopy over entrance placed low at one side always overhanging water. In Ghana the birds appear to select nest sites close to crocodile dens. Lays one to two eggs during late summer to autumn. Incubation 14 days, fledging 16 days. Female alone incubates, and broods small chicks both male and female feed young.

Darkbacked weaver

Often returns to same site, so several old nests may be in close proximity. Nest is retort-shaped with broad entrance tunnel pointing downwards suspended at tip of branch or creeper. Woven of thin vines and creepers, appears rough and always looks old and dry. Lays two to four eggs in summer. Incubation 15-17 days, fledging 22 days. Probably both sexes incubate both feed young.

Redbilled quelea

Breeding activities in colony closely synchronized eggs and chicks may be abandoned when flock moves on. May breed several times in same season, depending on local food supply. Nest built by male, a thin-walled ball with large side entrance. Lays one to five eggs. Incubation 10-12 days, fledging 11-13 days. Both sexes incubate and feed young. Vast colonies with 500 nests per tree attract hundreds of predators, including eagles, vultures, storks, and carnivorous mammals.

Redheaded weaver

Often solitary, monogamous or polygynous sometimes several males in same tree. Nest built by male, at same site in successive seasons, so that several nests may be close together. Retort-shaped structure, woven from twigs and mid-ribs of leaves with rough appearance long vertical entrance spout. Suspended from tree, often one in which raptor is nesting. Female lines nest. Lays one to four eggs from late winter through

Attagis gayi

Behavior and reproduction Rufous-bellied seedsnipes are usually found in pairs or small groups. They make loud calls that are described as cackles. Rufous-bellied seedsnipes are monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), with a single male breeding with a single female. The female lays four eggs at a time into a nest that is usually just a scraped indentation in the ground with little or no lining. When neither parent is incubating, or sitting on, the eggs, they are covered with dirt to help keep them warm and hide them.

Redbacked shrike

Densities can be locally high with up to seven pairs, almost loose colonies, per 25 acres (10 ha) in good habitats. Isolated pairs are not rare, however. Nests are built soon after arrival from wintering quarters at an average height of about 4.2 ft (1.3 m) above the ground, often in a thorny bush. In most areas, laying begins at the end of May and peaks in the first two weeks of June. Second broods are very rare, but re

Longtailed shrike

The cup-shaped nest is rather bulky and placed in a thorny bush or in a tree it is hidden 9.8-39.4 ft (3-12 m) above the ground. There appears to be a geographical variation in clutch size four to six eggs in China, four in Sri Lanka, three in the Malay Peninsula, and two in New Guinea. Breeding season varies with geographical areas the western race lays eggs between the end of March and July. Locally double-brooded replacement clutches are frequent. Incubation by female lasts 13-16 days, and the young fledge after 14-19 days.

Auriparus flaviceps

They are monogamous and solitary nesters. Nests, which are unique from other penduline tits, are made in the shape of a sphere (ball-like), and constructed by adding several layers of thorny and non-thorny twigs, finally lining the inside with softer materials (such as leaves, grasses, feathers, plant down, and spider's silk). The finished nest is around 8 inches (20 centimeters) in diameter, and may consist of as many as two thousand twigs. Nests are usually near the end of a low limb, or in the fork of a bush or tree, and normally from 2 to 20 feet (0.6 to 6.1 meters) above the ground. Nests are also built 10 or more miles (16 or more kilometers) away from water sources. Males may build several nests within a territory, with the female selecting one of them, which may be then used for several years. The thick walls protect them from the hot desert sun and the cold desert nights. Nests built early in the breeding season have side entrances facing...

Sitta canadensis

The male's courtship rituals also include turning his back to her, and then lifting his head and tail, raising back feathers and drooping wings, and swaying from side to side. The monogamous breeding pair uses cavities of trees (often pine and cottonwood) for their nests, along with old woodpecker holes and bird boxes. Nests are from 5 to 100 feet (1.5 to 30.5 meters) off the ground but usually 15 feet (4.5 meters). The inside of the nest

Certhia americana

Before breeding, they build pocket-shaped nests of bark flakes, plant fibers, twigs, conifer needles, mosses, and silks, which are placed behind loose sheets of bark, in a split-out tree, or behind a heavy growth of ivy. Nests are lined inside with feathers and shredded bark. Monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus) partners (having one mate) build nests usually 5 to 50 feet (1.5 to 15 meters) above the ground. The nest is built away from other nests and birds. Females lay four to eight eggs, which are lightly flecked with reddish brown. The incubation period is thirteen to seventeen days, which is performed only by the female. The nestling period (time period necessary to take care of young before ready to fly off) is thirteen to sixteen days. Both parents feed the young birds, with only one brood per year.

Phainopepla

Monogamous, with large breeding territories. Breeding pairs form loose colonies where food sources are concentrated. In a courtship display a male flies as high as 300 ft (90 m) over his territory, chasing the female while making circles and erratic zig-zag patterns. Two to three grayish blue, mottled eggs laid in cup-shaped nest of plant matter, spider webs, and hair nest built in central fork of a tree. Both parents incubate 14-16 days young hatch naked and helpless. Fledge at 18-25 days. Phainopeplas can product two to three broods per year.

Behavior

Duets are thought to be involved in pair-bond maintenance, synchronization of sexual activity, or cooperative territorial defense, and are generally associated with monogamous species that maintain territories year-round. A Prima subflava female occasionally adds her own complementary rattle to the notes of a singing male, creating a duet. The female Prima bairdii is known to duet during territory advertisement. A few Cisticola species (C. hunteri, C. chubbi, C. nigriloris) also engage in duetting. Apalis flavida duets, but not for territory defense. Other genera with species that duet include Bathmocercus, Bradypterus, Drymocichla, Schistolais, and Spiloptila. Almost all Old World warblers are territorial. Typically, the male defends a territory with song, display, and sometimes chasing and fighting. The majority of antagonistic behavior in migratory species occurs in the early spring during initial territory settlement and mate acquisition. In several monogamous species the female...

Cinnyris asiaticus

Behavior and reproduction Purple sunbirds forage for nectar, insects, and related creatures in forests and often visit gardens to seek out nectar. The call can be rendered as a humming zit zit and swee swee. Breeding follows the usual pattern among sunbirds monogamous breeding pairs, purse-like nests, female incubating eggs, and both parents caring for the chicks.

Australasian figbird

Monogamous in small groups, holding small territories during later austral spring and summer (October-February). Nests are shallow, flimsy, and saucer-like, built of plant fiber and tendrils. Eggs usually three. Both parents share all nesting duties, and additional birds may help feed the young.

Melospiza melodia

They prefer living alone and in pairs, but may be found in small loose flocks in winter, often with other sparrow species. They are generally monogamous birds, but can be polygynous (puh-LIJ-uh-nus having more than one mate). Males aggressively defend their territory, often fighting with other males. Their bulky cup-shaped nests are made of leaves, bark strips, grasses, stems, and other plants and lined with fine materials. Song sparrows usually place nests on the ground, among grasses, or in a low-lying bush or thicket. Nests are usually near a stream. Females lay three to six eggs that are greenish white with reddish brown markings. Nesting is done from late February to August. The incubation period is ten to fourteen days, and the fledgling period is seven to fourteen days. The pair feeds and takes care of the young. Two to three broods are possible each year, with four broods possible in southern areas.

Volatinia jacarina

Behavior and reproduction Males sing from perches that make them very visible. The also jump upward with a flick of their wings. In winter, they join flocks of a few hundred seed-eating birds. They are monogamous birds. Nests are built low to the ground, usually not more than 10 feet (3 meters) off the ground. From May through October, females lay two to three eggs. Incubation and fledgling periods are not known.

Icterus galbula

Behavior and reproduction Baltimore orioles breed in monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus) pairs, with one male and one female. The male attracts a mate by singing, chasing, and showing off his plumage. Females weave basket-like nests of grass and plant and human-made fibers that hang from tree branches. They lay eggs in average clutches of four to five eggs, which hatch in approximately two weeks. Both mother and father feed the hatchlings until they leave the nest after two weeks.

Loxia curvirostra

Behavior and reproduction Red crossbills are very social birds, especially during their nonbreeding season when they are found in large flocks. They sing a series of two-note phrases followed by a trilled warble, such as jitt, jitt, jitt, jiiaa-jiia-jiiaaaa, chipa-chipa-chipa, and kip-kip-kip. The birds defend their territory with a repeated series of simple chirps as they fly around. During courtship, males fly above a female while vibrating wings and singing. Breeding pairs are monogamous. Females build saucer-shaped nests of twigs, grass, bark strips, and rootlets. Nests are lined with finer grasses, fur, feathers, hair, and moss, located near the end of conifer branches, and 6.6 to 40.0 feet (2 to 12 meters) off the ground. Females lay three to four light green-blue eggs that are spotted with brown and lilac. The incubation period is twelve to eighteen days. Only females incubate. The helpless newborns are brooded by the female and fed by both parents. The fledgling period is...

Pittas

Indian Pitta Cage

Almost all pittas breed seasonally, with breeding timed to coincide with the onset of the rainy season. An exception to this pattern is the superb pitta (Pitta superba), which apparently nests throughout the year on the island of Manus. In most species there are relatively few unique displays prior to copulation, and most pittas probably are monogamous. However, the African pitta performs a unique display prior to the breeding season. During display bouts, this species repeatedly jumps about 10 in (25 cm) into the air, parachuting back to the perch with several shallow wing-beats. During this display the red belly is prominently displayed and the birds often give a prrt-wheet vocalization.

Cracticus torquatus

Behavior and reproduction Monogamous mating pairs defend the same breeding territory (20 to 99 acres, or 8 to 40 hectares) all year-round, but have a larger home range. The pair sings back-and-forth with songs of fluted whistles and ringing caws, which are also heard when alarmed or to show aggression. Gray butcherbirds breed from July to August and December to January. They construct (in about four weeks) tight, bowl-shaped nests that are made with sticks and twigs and lined with grasses and other soft fibers. Nests are usually located about 33 feet (10 meters) or less from the ground, within upright forks in outer foliage. Females lay three to five brownish green eggs that are spotted in red-browns and are incubated by the female while the male defends the area. The incubation period (time to sit on eggs before hatching) is twenty-two to twenty-five days. The young are fed by both parents and leave the nest after about twenty-eight days, but remain in the breeding territory for...

House wren

Has a coarse twig base with a cup lined with hair, wool, and feathers. Eggs number four to eight, rarely three to 10. They are whitish with small spots of reddish brown. Incubation is by the female alone for 12-14 days young are fed by both sexes for 16-18 days. Single-brooded in Canada, double-brooded or rarely triple-brooded in southern parts of the range. Generally monogamous, but polygyny does occur regularly.

Sphenisciformes

Penguins are serially monogamous (Williams 1995) and reinforcement of the pair bond through ritualized communication may determine the year-to-year maintenance of the pair bond. An average of about 60 to 90 of the pairs keep the same mate over a period of years, although this can be as low as 15 due to death or divorce or separation (Williams 1995). Ainley et al. (1983) believe that mate retention in Adelie Penguins is related to the amount of elaborate pair-formation behavior. Additionally, pair fidelity may be a result of birds returning to the same nest site, which both sexes tend to do, although this relationship between pair and site fidelity remains unclear.

Dicrurus paradiseus

Behavior and reproduction There is limited information. The species forms monogamous pairs, female and male sharing in incubating the clutch of up to three eggs, and feeding the young. The parents savagely defend the nest and young. The nest is cup-shaped and built in at the fork of a tree branch.

Korone Koronideus

Crow doing was Aratus here confusing his Crow with another kind of Korone which does so dive (see (2) below) Pliny well observed that if a Crow found a nut that was too hard to open, it would fly up and drop it onto rocks or roof tiles until it cracked (HN 10.30), and that Crows preferred walking (NH 10.111) to hopping. Crows are notorious for eating eggs and young of passerines such as the Wren and for attacking small mammals such as weasels (so Aristotle HA 609a16-17, adding foxes), but allegations of hostility to Owls, with attacks on each other's eggs, are misdirected the Little Owl (Glaux, q.v.) is singled out here (especially Aristotle HA 609a8-16, cf. e.g. Pliny HN 10.203, Aelian NA 3.9, Antigonus Mirabilia 57), but modern observations point rather to Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) and Barn Owl (Tyto alba). Aelian (NH6.45, 15.22) rightly notes that Crows mob birds of prey. The Hooded Crow, like the Jackdaw and Raven (see KOLOIOS, KORAX) is monogamous (cf. Aristotle fr. 347...

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