Post-fledging care, philopatry and recruitment in brown thornbills

Green, D. J. and Cockburn, A. (2001) Post-fledging care, philopatry and recruitment in brown thornbills. Journal of Animal Ecology, 70 3: 505-514. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2656.2001.00503.x

Author Green, D. J.
Cockburn, A.
Title Post-fledging care, philopatry and recruitment in brown thornbills
Journal name Journal of Animal Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8790
Publication date 2001-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1365-2656.2001.00503.x
Open Access Status
Volume 70
Issue 3
Start page 505
End page 514
Total pages 10
Editor D. Raffaelli
S. Albon
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Science
Language eng
Subject C1
270706 Life Histories (incl. Population Ecology)
780105 Biological sciences
0608 Zoology
Abstract 1. We describe patterns of post-fledging care, dispersal and recruitment in four cohorts of brown thornbills Acanthiza pusilla. We examine what factors influence post-fledging survival and determine how post-hedging care and the timing of dispersal influence the probability of recruitment in this small, pair breeding, Australian passerine. 2. Fledgling thornbills were dependent on their parents for approximately 6 weeks. Male fledglings were more likely than female fledglings to survive until independence. For both sexes, the probability of reaching independence increased as nestling weight increased and was higher for nestlings that fledged later in the season. 3. The timing of dispersal by juvenile thornbills was bimodal. Juveniles either dispersed by the end of the breeding season or remained on their natal territory into the autumn and winter. Juveniles that delayed dispersal were four times more likely to recruit into the local breeding population than juveniles that dispersed early. 4. Delayed dispersal was advantageous because individuals that remained on their natal territory suffered little mortality and tended to disperse only when a local vacancy was available. Consequently, the risk of mortality associated with obtaining a breeding vacancy using this dispersal strategy was low. 5. Males, the more philopatric sex, were far more likely than females to delay dispersal. Despite the apparent advantages of prolonged natal philopatry, however, only 54% of pairs that raised male fledglings to independence had sons that postponed dispersal, and most of these philopatric sons gained vacancies before their parents bred again. Consequently, few sons have the opportunity to help their parents. Constraints on delayed dispersal therefore appear to play a major role in the evolution of pair-breeding in the brown thornbill.
Keyword Ecology
Delayed Dispersal
Natal Philopatry
Nestling Weight
Juvenile Survival
Territory Quality
Reproductive Success
Natal Dispersal
Great Tits
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 78 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 02:29:42 EST