Female settling patterns and polygyny: tests of a neutral-mate- choice hypothesis

J. P. Lightbody, Patrick J Weatherhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Female yellow-headed blackbirds Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus did not settle in the order predicted by either the polygyny-threshold or sexy-son hypotheses, and female reproductive success was not affected by settlement order in a manner consistent wih the polygyny-threshold or sexy-son hypotheses. Consistent wih the neutral-mate-choice hypothesis, females appeared to settle randomly in suitable breeding habitats, causing the males holding the largest territories to acquire the most mates. Such random settlement by females is an optimal behavior because their reproductive success is not affected by other females or by variation in the features of either males or territories. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-33
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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