Food allocation in Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) broods: Do rules change with the age of nestlings?

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Food allocation among nestlings has a strong influence on parental fitness. Maximizing fledging success in a favorable environment requires food distribution based on offspring need signals. However, food limitation, differences among individual nestlings in their quality, or variation in the costs of rearing different young may result in preferential allocation of food by parents. If signals of nestling quality or need change in meaning with age, parents are expected to adjust their feeding rules to those changes. We examined food allocation in broods of Collared Flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis), a sexually size-monomorphic passerine. In a multivariate analysis, we investigated the role of sex, size, condition, position, and begging intensity in two nestling ages. Size, condition, and sex of nestlings did not affect parental decisions. Begging intensity and nestling position, however, had a role in food allocation in both age categories. Both parents preferred the more intensely begging nestlings. Males did not show clear position preference in the "young" age category, but had preferred positions with older nestlings. Female position preference was observed in both age categories. Preferred positions of male and female parents differed; still, we observed overall position preference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1122
Number of pages11
JournalAuk
Volume122
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

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nestling
food
food limitation
allocation
nestlings
Ficedula albicollis
gender
fledging
passerine
multivariate analysis
rearing
fitness
cost

Keywords

  • Begging behavior
  • Collared Flycatcher
  • Ficedula albicollis
  • Food allocation
  • Parental care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

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title = "Food allocation in Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) broods: Do rules change with the age of nestlings?",
abstract = "Food allocation among nestlings has a strong influence on parental fitness. Maximizing fledging success in a favorable environment requires food distribution based on offspring need signals. However, food limitation, differences among individual nestlings in their quality, or variation in the costs of rearing different young may result in preferential allocation of food by parents. If signals of nestling quality or need change in meaning with age, parents are expected to adjust their feeding rules to those changes. We examined food allocation in broods of Collared Flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis), a sexually size-monomorphic passerine. In a multivariate analysis, we investigated the role of sex, size, condition, position, and begging intensity in two nestling ages. Size, condition, and sex of nestlings did not affect parental decisions. Begging intensity and nestling position, however, had a role in food allocation in both age categories. Both parents preferred the more intensely begging nestlings. Males did not show clear position preference in the {"}young{"} age category, but had preferred positions with older nestlings. Female position preference was observed in both age categories. Preferred positions of male and female parents differed; still, we observed overall position preference.",
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AU - Török, J.

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