Extra-pair copulation and extra-pair paternity in birds

  title={Extra-pair copulation and extra-pair paternity in birds},
  author={T. R. Birkhead and Anders Pape M{\o}ller},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},

Extrapair Copulations Predict Extrapair Fertilizations in the American Crow

For each group of nesting crows, the proportion of extrapair young in a brood was higher when EPC attempts were observed in the group that year, suggesting that EPCs were attempted by multiple males with certain females in certain years.

Extra-pair paternity in a species with frequent extra-pair courtship feedings, few extra-pair copulations, and male-biased parental care

The low level of EPP indicates that intraspecific egg dumping is not a common female strategy in Whiskered Tern, similar to many other colonial waterbird species, and that in species with high male parental investment, females should avoid EPC.

Extra-pair fertilizations in the Sedge Warbler

The results are consistent with the hypotheses that females participating in EPF are seeking genetic benefits to their offspring, but cannot exclude the alternative explanation that attractive males are more efficient in forcing females to accept EPF.

Extra-pair copulation and paternity defense in the hihi (or stitchbird) Notiomystis cincta

Paired males attempted to defend their paternity by defending an area around the nest site, by territorial calling and displacing intruding males, and this variation mirrored closely the variation in the percentage of extra- pair paternity.

High levels of extra-pair paternity in Superb Fairy-wrens in South Australia despite low frequency of auxiliary males

This work studied group size and extra-pair paternity in South Australia where, unlike other study sites, auxiliary males were relatively uncommon: 16% of nests had one auxiliary male compared to 37–80% with at least one auxiliary per nest in other studies.

Copulations and Mate Guarding of the Chinese Egret

There was an asynchronous fading in bill color between sexes after laying, which probably accounted for the male's preference for an egg-laying female as extra-pair mate.

Extra pair copulation in the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber)

Based on the genetic data it appears that the Eurasian beaver is a strict genetically monogamous species, in concordance with the observational data.

Social mating systems and extrapair fertilizations in passerine birds

It is hypothesized that in socially polygynous species, there is less incentive for females and males to pursue extrapair matings and females incur higher costs for sexual infidelity than in socially monogamous species.

Do Women Have Evolved Adaptation for Extra-Pair Copulation?

Do women have special-purpose evolved adaptation that functions in pursuing copulations with men other than the main romantic partner, just as they have specialized adaptation for seeing color,


  • T. WaiteP. Parker
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1997
A demographic model is used to gauge the potential magnitude of errors in the effect on (variance) N, of a previously ignored demographic complexity: extrapair fertilizations in socially monogamous avian populations.



Extra-Pair Copulations and Mate Guarding in the Polyterritorial Pied Flycatcher, Ficedula Hypoleuca

It is most likely that male reproductive strategies are not maintained as a frequency-dependent mixed ESS with equal pay-offs for all paired males, Instead, male strategies are conditional on phenotype and breeding circumstances.

Paternal investment inversely related to degree of extra-pair paternity in the reed bunting

An exceptionally high proportion of extra-pair paternity is found in a wild population of reed buntings using single-locus DNA fingerprinting and it is proposed that males can assess their likelihood of paternity and adjust their nestling provisioning rates accordingly.

Extra-pair paternity in monogamous tree swallows

There was no relationship between the pair copulation rate and the proportion of illegitimate young in a brood, suggesting that males cannot use the number of copulations performed with their mate as a reliable cue to their share of paternity.

Extra-Pair Paternity in the European Starling: The Effect of Polygyny

It is suggested that the relative ease by which female Starlings can be mate-guarded, the fact that mate-attraction and mate-GUarding do not have to be exclusive activities and the high within pair copulation frequency in Starlings may keep the degree of extra-pair paternity low.

Extra-pair paternity results from female preference for high-quality males in the blue tit

Evidence is presented that such an asymmetry is indeed caused by female behaviour, and that 'attractive' males do not suffer lost paternity, survive better and recruit more young, and the results support the genetic quality hypothesis.

Extra‐pair paternity in the shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis as determined by DNA fingerprinting

The frequency of chicks resulting from extra-pair copulation in the shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis, was measured by DNA fingerprinting and it was found that 18% of the chicks had extra- Pair paternity, and one chick was not the offspring of either member of the pair, implying either a polygynous male whose second female was fertilized by another male or adoption.

Helpers liberate female fairy-wrens from constraints on extra-pair mate choice

It is suggested that females allow males in pairs more paternity to ensure their assistance with parental care, and that mating options for females in other species with female control of fertilization may also reflect a trade-off between acquiring the genes of high-quality males for their offspring and parental care of those offspring.

No evidence for illegitimate young in monogamous and polygynous warblers

The use of a bird minisatellite DNA probe is described in assigning paternity in natural populaá-tions of the monogamous willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus and of the polygynous wood warblerPhylloscopeopus sibilatrix, implying that extra-pair copulations have little or no genetic impact.