Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures and Tables

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pp. ix-xvi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

Research on red-winged blackbirds seems to have attracted a particularly cooperative, noncontentious set of workers, in stark contrast to other areas we could name within behavioral ecology. There have been disagreements and controversies in redwing work, to be sure, but they have been amicable, and the researchers involved have almost universally remained on good terms with one another. ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 3-25

The behavior of red-winged blackbirds in the wild has been studied as extensively as that of any species of bird in the world. Given the traditional prominence of birds in ethology and behavioral ecology, this means that "redwing" behavior is as well known as that of any species of any taxa. ...

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2. Parental Care

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pp. 26-49

Parental care and mating system have a reciprocal relationship, each influencing the other. On the one hand, the form of the mating system affects the balance of costs and benefits of performing parental care. A major cost of parental care to males is lost opportunity to perform other activities, such as mate attraction, mate guarding, extrapair courtship, and territory defense. ...

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3. Territoriality

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pp. 50-76

The mating system of red-winged blackbirds is territorial polygyny, a type of polygyny in which the prolonged association between one male and several females occurs on the male's territory. As is typical in territorial polygyny, male red-winged blackbirds establish their territories first, and females settle on territories later (for an interesting exception, see Davies 1992). ...

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4. Female Reproductive Success

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pp. 77-99

Understanding the factors that determine female reproductive success is crucial to understanding the mating system of red-winged blackbirds because these factors, whatever they are, should determine where females settle, and female settlement determines whether social polygyny occurs. ...

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5. Female Choice of Breeding Situation

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pp. 100-132

Female choice of mates has long been a controversial subject. Soon after Darwin (1859, 1871) first proposed female choice as an evolutionary force, his ideas were attacked by Wallace (1889) and others, who doubted that female choice existed. Such doubts persisted well into the twentieth century (Huxley 1938), ...

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6. Polygyny

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pp. 133-159

We will now attempt to answer one of the two major questions addressed in this book: why are red-winged blackbirds polygynous? As we stated in chapter 1, we emphasize the social, rather than the genetic, mating system. Furthermore, we continue to make a distinction between short-term models of polygyny, ...

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7. Sexual Selection in Progress

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pp. 160-194

Darwin (1859, 1871) proposed that dimorphism in traits associated with display, ornamentation, and fighting have evolved due to sexual selection, in most cases acting on males. He also suggested that sexual selection is stronger in polygynous species, such as red-winged blackbirds, than in monogamous ones (see chapter 1). ...

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8. Adaptations for Sexual Selection

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pp. 195-230

An adaptation is "a characteristic of an organism whose form is the result of selection in a particular functional context" (West-Eberhard 1992). An adaptation for sexual selection, then, is a characteristic whose form is the result of sexual selection. In this chapter we consider evidence that certain traits of male red-winged blackbirds are in this sense adaptations for sexual selection. ...

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9. Polygyny, Sexual Selection, and Female Red-Winged Blackbirds

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pp. 231-258

In the last two chapters we discussed the effects of polygyny on male redwinged blackbirds in terms of the intensified sexual selection that polygyny imposes on males. We now turn to effects of polygyny on female redwinged blackbirds. The key feature of territorial polygyny, as a social system, is that multiple females breed on the territory of a single male. ...

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10. Conclusions

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pp. 259-278

We have now reviewed what is known about polygyny and sexual selection in red-winged blackbirds. In doing so, we have stuck rather narrowly to our focal species, only looking at cross-species comparisons when we could use such comparisons to shed light on the evolution of the behavior and morphology of red-winged blackbirds. ...

Common and Scientific Names

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pp. 279-280

References

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pp. 281-302

Author Index

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pp. 303-306

Taxonomic Index

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pp. 307-308

Subject Index

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pp. 309-312