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1 June 2011 Increased Male Singing in Response to Predator Presence May Represent Reproductive Investment in a Promiscuous Species, the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola
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Abstract

Males of the promiscuous Aquatic Warbler are regarded as emancipated from any parental duties, and in most of the broods nestlings are sired by two or more males. During a long-term study on the reproductive biology of the species on fen mires on the river Biebrza in north-eastern Poland, we frequently heard males singing more intensely or uttering warning calls close to nests. Here we test whether this behaviour is reproducible and therefore constitutes a mate investment or paternal investment. During the incubation periods, hides were erected ca. 30 m from nests. During 30-min periods male song bouts were counted while a test person was either concealed inside or placed outside the tent, hence well visible as a potential predator. The production of song showed a sevenfold increase during the presence of a clearly visible test person. This observation indicates that male song in Aquatic Warbler serves as a warning signal and hence can be regarded as a type of mate or paternal investment.

Andrzej Dyrcz, Wanda Zdunek, and Karl Schulze-Hagen "Increased Male Singing in Response to Predator Presence May Represent Reproductive Investment in a Promiscuous Species, the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola," Acta Ornithologica 46(1), 97-100, (1 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.3161/000164511X589965
Received: 1 September 2010; Accepted: 1 March 2011; Published: 1 June 2011
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