We studied the relationship between breeding parameters and leukocyte counts (number of cells in 1 mm3 of blood) in Great Tit (Parus major) females. To exclude potential effects on leukocyte concentration of high reproductive effort related to nestling provisioning, we collected blood samples from females at the end of their incubation period. Early-breeding females had greater blood counts of total leukocytes, lymphocytes, and heterophils than birds starting their clutches late in the season. Reproductive success, measured as the number of successfully fledged young, declined over the breeding season and showed no association with total leukocyte concentration. Number of leukocytes was not related to female condition measured as residuals from the regression of body weight on tarsus length. Moreover, the concentration of leukocytes did not predict the probability that a female would survive to the following breeding season.
Disminución Estacional en las Concentraciones de Leucocitos y en el Rendimiento Reproductivo en Parus major