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Competition and age at first breeding in pied flycatchers

Oortwijn, T. (2016) Competition and age at first breeding in pied flycatchers. Research Project 1 (minor thesis), Ecology and Evolution.

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Abstract

In short-lived passerines, maximal fitness seems to be obtained by breeding as soon as possible. There are species however in which part of the individuals, does not breed locally the first possible breeding season, suggesting that they do not breed. In pied flycatchers only 26% of the males breeds locally in their first year, for females this is 53%. Lost competition with older earlier arriving birds is seen as the most important cause for this, forcing young birds to make the trade-off between breeding in a low quality territory and skipping the first breeding season. I found a high percentage of one-year-old males outside the nest box plots, areas with less competition. In high density areas the percentage of yearlings is found lower. Among non-breeders the percentage of yearlings was also higher than among breeders. And one-year-old breeding males are darker than non-breeders. These findings all support the competition idea. Less skippers and weaker results in females are possibly because of less competition in females. Skipping the first year of breeding results in a higher lifetime reproductive success, provided that the bird survives it till the second or third year.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Project 1 (minor thesis))
Degree programme: Ecology and Evolution
Thesis type: Research Project 1 (minor thesis)
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:12
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:12
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/13907

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