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1 November 2017 Breeding Ecology of the Masked Laughingthrush Garrulax perspicillatus, a Cooperative Breeder in Central China
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Abstract

In this paper, we provide for the first time a detailed description of the breeding ecology of the Masked Laughingthrush Garrulax perspicillatus. Our findings indicate that this species is a cooperative breeder with retained offspring. Flocks of Masked Laughingthrushes occurred in winter; these split into smaller breeding groups during the spring. The size of breeding groups varied from three to six individuals (mean = 3.8 individuals, n = 26). Clutches were initiated between early March and early August. Clutch size averaged 3.3 eggs and ranged from two to five (n = 18). The incubation period lasted on average 13.2 days (n = 9) and chicks left the nest after 12 days (n = 23). Breeding groups produce 2–3 broods per year (n = 2). 82.8% of 58 breeding attempts resulted in fledged offspring. Helpers were observed participating in nest-building, incubation and provisioning. The size of breeding groups was significantly related to both the overall frequency of feeding trips to the nest and brood size at fledging, with a higher frequency of feeding trips and more fledglings for larger groups. Hence, both breeders and helpers may potentially derive fitness benefits from helping at the nest.

Shaobin Li, Zhen Cao, Guopan Li, and Wei Li "Breeding Ecology of the Masked Laughingthrush Garrulax perspicillatus, a Cooperative Breeder in Central China," Ardea 105(2), 137-144, (1 November 2017). https://doi.org/10.5253/arde.v105i2.a8
Received: 22 April 2017; Accepted: 1 October 2017; Published: 1 November 2017
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