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1 December 2009 Polygyny and Male Parental Care by Sprague's Pipit
Kimberly M. Dohms, Stephen K. Davis
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Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii) is a ground-nesting passerine of the northern mixed-grass prairie. Few studies have examined the natural history and demography of the species, and little information exists on its mating system or parental care. We installed video monitoring systems at 11 randomly selected pipit nests to study parental care and nestling growth. We recorded one male providing parental care to nestlings in two nests active during the same time period. The male began delivering prey to nestlings and removing fecal sacs at both nests on day 5 of the nestling period. The male re-nested with one of his original mates 11 days after the nests failed, and began providing parental care to nestlings from day 2 until fledging. This is the first case of polygyny and male parental care documented for Sprague's Pipit. Future studies should examine the extent of polygyny in Sprague's Pipit using marked adults and genetic analyses.

Kimberly M. Dohms and Stephen K. Davis "Polygyny and Male Parental Care by Sprague's Pipit," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121(4), 826-830, (1 December 2009).
Received: 4 December 2008; Accepted: 1 June 2009; Published: 1 December 2009

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