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1 June 2014 Female Performance of Male Courtship Display in Northern Cardinals
M. Susan DeVries, Caitlin P. Winters, Jodie M. Jawor
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Courtship behaviors in birds are often considered male-specific, as males compete for mates through displays that exhibit individual quality. Several courtship displays have been described for male Northern Cardinals including the complex song-dance display. We observed female cardinals performing the song-dance display on two separate occasions in south Mississippi within pre-breeding and breeding periods. Female performance of the display was very similar as reported for males. Given the behavioral attributes of cardinal mating pairs, it is plausible that bi-directional mate choice exists for this species and females are demonstrating aspects of individual quality to males through the song-dance display. Additional monitoring of courtship behavior is needed to determine the function of female performance display that was previously thought to be male specific.

M. Susan DeVries, Caitlin P. Winters, and Jodie M. Jawor "Female Performance of Male Courtship Display in Northern Cardinals," Southeastern Naturalist 13(2), (1 June 2014).
Published: 1 June 2014
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