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Site Fidelity and Habitat Quality as Determinants of Settlement Pattern in Male Painted Buntings

Scott M. Lanyon and Charles F. Thompson
The Condor
Vol. 88, No. 2 (May, 1986), pp. 206-210
DOI: 10.2307/1368917
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1368917
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Site Fidelity and Habitat Quality as Determinants of Settlement Pattern in Male Painted Buntings
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Abstract

The spatial distribution of high and low quality Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) territories on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, was determined through an examination of the distribution of food resources and polygynous pairings in 1976 and 1977. Based on the distribution of high and low quality territories, we predicted the pattern of territory settlement by males at the start of the breeding season. As predicted, males settled significantly earlier on high quality than on low quality territories in 1978 and 1979. However, not all males that initially acquired high quality territories were able to maintain them long enough to breed on them. Most of these males, which were subsequently displaced by returning site-faithful males, were settling for the first time on the study area, although some were returning males that had held low quality territories the previous year. New breeders and some returners initially settled in a pattern consistent with predictions based on territory quality; most returning males settled on the basis of site fidelity. Thus, the final settlement pattern was the result of an interaction between preference for areas of high quality and the return and site faithfulness of previous territory holders. The implications of this pattern of territory acquisition for the evolution of delayed maturation in males are discussed.

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