The sex lives of birds: Banding together may pay off for subordinate males

Male spotted bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus maculatus) build and defend a structure of sticks and straw – the bower. They decorate these nests with colourful objects to attract mates during the breeding season. Certain non-resident subordinate males are tolerated by resident males in their bowers over multiple breeding seasons. Previous research has shown that these male coalitions bring indirect benefits to subordinate males. So far, however, it has been unclear whether lower-ranking males also have direct advantages. A current study by the Vetmeduni shows for the first time that in rare cases the lower-ranking birds benefit directly from copulation opportunities.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft