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Theory predicts shorter embryonic periods in species with greater embryo mortality risk and smaller body size. Field studies of 80 passerine species on three continents yielded data that largely conflicted with theory; incubation (embryonic) periods were longer rather than shorter in smaller species, and egg (embryo) mortality risk explained some variation(More)
Causes of interspecific variation in growth rates within and among geographic regions remain poorly understood. Passerine birds represent an intriguing case because differing theories yield the possibility of an antagonistic interaction between nest predation risk and food delivery rates on evolution of growth rates. We test this possibility among 64(More)
Broad geographic patterns in egg and clutch mass are poorly described, and potential causes of variation remain largely unexamined. We describe interspecific variation in avian egg and clutch mass within and among diverse geographic regions and explore hypotheses related to allometry, clutch size, nest predation, adult mortality, and parental care as(More)
Forest fragmentation may cause increased brood parasitism and nest pre-dation of breeding birds. In North America, nest parasitism and predation are expected to increase closer to forest edges because the brood-parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird (Mol-othrus ater) and generalist nest predators often enter the forest from adjoining developed (largely(More)
Parental behavior and effort vary extensively among species. Life-history theory suggests that age-specific mortality could cause this interspecific variation, but past tests have focused on fecundity as the measure of parental effort. Fecundity can cause costs of reproduction that confuse whether mortality is the cause or the consequence of parental(More)
Growth and development rates may result from genetic programming of intrinsic processes that yield correlated rates between life stages. These intrinsic rates are thought to affect adult mortality probability and longevity. However, if proximate extrinsic factors (e.g., temperature, food) influence development rates differently between stages and yield low(More)
Dispersal can be motivated by multiple factors including sociality. Dispersal behaviour affects population genetic structure that in turn reinforces social organization. We combined observational information with individual-based genetic data in the Karoo scrub-robin, a facultative cooperatively breeding bird, to understand how social bonds within familial(More)
In many cooperatively-breeding species, the presence of one or more helpers improves the reproductive performance of the breeding pair receiving help. Helper contributions can take many different forms, including allo-feeding, offspring provisioning, and offspring guarding or defence. Yet, most studies have focussed on single forms of helper contribution,(More)
Slow life histories are characterized by high adult survival and few offspring, which are thought to allow increased investment per offspring to increase juvenile survival. Consistent with this pattern, south temperate zone birds are commonly longer-lived and have fewer young than north temperate zone species. However, comparative analyses of juvenile(More)
BACKGROUND The evolutionary interests of males and females rarely coincide (sexual conflict), and these conflicting interests influence morphology, behavior and speciation in various organisms. We examined consequences of variation in sexual conflict in two closely-related passerine birds with contrasting breeding systems: the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz(More)