Since the mid-1980s, our understanding of avian reproductive strategies has shifted as new molecular technologies have revealed how common promiscuity is in many monogamous avian species. However, the prevalence and importance of extra-pair paternity in polygynous species is less well studied. We used microsatellite loci from related icterid species to identify the extra-pair paternity rate in a polygynous population of Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) that bred in the Champlain Valley of Vermont from 2002 to 2018. We assigned paternity for 120 nestlings and found that 42% of nestlings were sired by extra-pair males. These results highlight the importance of extra-pair paternity in the reproductive behavior of Bobolinks that breed in agricultural habitats.
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