The Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) is a globally threatened species with little quantitative data on its breeding biology. Observations conducted in 2003 at Xing-Ren Tuo in Liaoning Province indicated that the species had a low within-pair copulation frequency and a relatively high extra-pair copulation frequency. The occurrence of extra-pair copulations depended upon the absence of the cuckolder's mate and the cuckolded male. There was an asynchronous fading in bill color between sexes after laying, which probably accounted for the male's preference for an egg-laying female as extra-pair mate. Ground nesting induced a modified tactic: the male approached another nest by walking covertly, which led successful mounting of the female.
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Vol. 28 • No. 4