Parental behaviors that vary by sex and breeding stage facilitate the survival of offspring in birds. Females invest in reproducing according to the level of direct and/or indirect benefits provided by males. Males face trade-offs from defending territories or nests, providing for the young, and seeking additional mating opportunities. We examined whether post-mating sexual behaviors such as courtship display and nest-building were associated with reproductive investments made by males and females in the current study. The oriental stork (Ciconia boyciana) is known as a solitary breeder that nests in tall trees and provides biparental care with long post-hatching development. We filmed parental behaviors in seven stork pairs in captivity for 655 hours (245 hours during nest-building, 218 hours during incubation, 328 hours during nestling, and 192 hours during the fledgling period). We found that paired mating behaviors such as synchronous allopreening and bill-clattering were highly skewed to the pre-incubation period. Males participated in nest-building more than females although both sexes shared similar parental care during the incubation and nestling period. Male nest-building was negatively correlated with male nest attentiveness only during the nestling period. Our results suggest that male oriental storks with higher nest-building effort might spend more time taking precautions against conspecific intruders or nest predators near the nests with chicks while the females were attending the nests in the form of biparental care.
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Vol. 32 • No. 4