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The Condor

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Bird populations--United States, Population biology, Eastern Kingbirds


Genetic parentage in the socially monogamous and territorial Eastern Kingbird( Tyrannust tyrannus) was examined in a central New York population by multilocus DNA fingerprinting. Extra-pair young were identified in 60% (12 of 20) of nests. Of the 64 nestlings profiled, 42% were sired by extra-pair males, but no cases of conspecific brood parasitism were detected. These results are markedly different from a previous electrophoretic study of the same species in a Michigan population, which reported 39% of nestlings were unrelated to one (typically the mother, quasiparasitismo)r both (conspecificb roodp arasitism) of the putative parents. In the New York population, extra-pairp aternityw as most common among females that returned to breed on a former territory. Among females that were new to a breeding territory, extrapair paternity increased directly with breeding density. Although the power of the tests was low, neither breeding synchrony nor male experience with a breeding territory appeared to be associated with the occurrence of extra-pair young.


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