Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Nest-building males trade off material collection costs with territory value

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Abstract

Building a structurally robust nest is crucial for reproductive success in many birds. However, we know little about the criteria birds use to select material or where they go to collect it. Here we observed the material collection of male Cape Weavers (Ploceus capensis). Males typically selected long, strong material to build their nests and each male collected material from different locations. Males that built more nests nested in a different area of the colony and flew further to collect nest material than did males that built fewer nests. As these males that flew further to collect material had longer tails and wings and attracted more females to their territories than did males that flew shorter distances, they may have traded off the travel costs of collecting nest materials with benefits gained from holding a territory in a more 'desirable' part of the colony. Nest construction, then, appears to be a multi-dimensional task whereby birds take into account material's structural properties, material proximity to the nest site and territory quality. Males that do this effectively both attract more mates and provide structurally sound nests for their young.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEmu
Volume116
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • Distance, Flight costs, Individuality, Location, Material properties, Weaverbirds

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Wild fledgling tits do not mob in response to conspecific or heterospecific mobbing calls

    Carlson, N. V., Healy, S. D. & Templeton, C. N., 4 Jun 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Ibis. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Social learning about construction behaviour via an artefact

    Breen, A. J., Bonneaud, C. C., Healy, S. D. & Guillette, L. M., May 2019, In : Animal Cognition. 22, 3, p. 305–315 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The face of animal cognition

    Healy, S. D., 24 Mar 2019, In : Integrative Zoology. 14, 2, p. 132-144

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Social learning in nest-building birds watching live-streaming video demonstrators

    Guillette, L. M. & Healy, S. D., 24 Mar 2019, In : Integrative Zoology. 14, 2, p. 204-213

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Animal cognition

    Healy, S. D., 24 Mar 2019, In : Integrative Zoology. 14, 2, p. 128-131

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Related by journal

  1. The effects of land-use change on endemic avifauna on Makira, Solomon Islands: endemics avoid monoculture

    Davies, T. E., Clarke, R. H., Ewen, J. G., Fazey, I. R. A., Pettorelli, N. & Cresswell, W., 22 Jun 2015, In : Emu. 115, 3, p. 199-213

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Breeding ecology of the Chestnut-crowned Babbler: a cooperative breeder in the desert

    Russell, A. F., Portelli, D. J., Russell, D. J. F. & Barclay, H., 2010, In : Emu. 110, 4, p. 324-331 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Zebra Finches and cognition

    Healy, S. D., Haggis, O. & Clayton, N. S., 2010, In : Emu. 110, 3, p. 242-250 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Social organisation and foraging ecology of the cooperatively breeding Chestnut-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps)

    Portelli, D. J., Barclay, H., Russell, D. J. F., Griffith, S. C. & Russell, A. F., 2009, In : Emu. 109, 2, p. 153-162 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 244399456