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Cache Size in Shrikes Influences Female Mate Choice and Reproductive Success

Reuven Yosef and Berry Pinshow
The Auk
Vol. 106, No. 3 (Jul., 1989), pp. 418-421
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4087861
Page Count: 4
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Cache Size in Shrikes Influences Female Mate Choice and Reproductive Success
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Abstract

Male Northern Shrikes (Lanius excubitor) in Israel create conspicuous caches of impaled prey. We found that cache size increased before the breeding season, peaked when nests were completed and eggs laid, and declined sharply when males fed impalings to mates and young. We hypothesized that cache size reflects the quality of the male and his territory, thereby influencing mate selection. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated cache size of male Northern Shrikes. Male shrikes with experimentally augmented caches mated earlier and sired more offspring than controls, and males without caches remained unpaired and deserted their territories. We concluded that cache size affects mate selection by female Northern Shrikes and that reproductive success is increased in individuals with larger caches.

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