Journal article

Multiple ornamentation, female breeding synchrony, and extra-pair mating success of golden whistlers (Pachycephala pectoralis)

Wouter FD van Dongen, Raoul A Mulder



Considerable variation exists in rates of extra-pair paternity between species, and across and within populations of the same species. Explanations for this variation include ecological (e.g. breeding synchrony), morphological (e.g. ornamentation), and genetic (e.g. relatedness) factors, but it is rare for studies to simultaneously explore these factors within a single population. This is especially true for highly ornamented species, where mate choice based on ornamentation may be more complex than in less-adorned species. We conducted such a study in a migratory population of the highly ornamented golden whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis). We quantified male genetic reproductive success an..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to Larissa Yocom, Saskia van Dongen, Sophie- Allebone Webb, Michelle Simeoni, Kristy van Dongen, Frieda van Dongen, Wouter van Dongen Sr, Ramiarison Robert, Tania Billing, Grainne Maguire, Carly Cook, Lindy and Oliver Eyster, Angela Schneider, and Meah Volkard for their assistance with field work for this project. We thank Ian Gordon for his helpful statistics advice, Staffan Andersson for conducting the carotenoid analysis of the whistler feathers, and an anonymous referee for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. This research was funded by the Holsworth Wildlife Research Fund, the Loftus-Hills Memorial Fund, the Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award, the Linnean Society of NSW, the David Hay Memorial Fund, and the Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne. Birds were captured and blood samples collected under Animal Experimentation and Ethics Register 01011 from the University of Melbourne and permits from the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Australia.