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Breeding Area Fidelity of Great Tits (Parus major)

Paul H. Harvey, Paul J. Greenwood and Christopher M. Perrins
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Feb., 1979), pp. 305-313
DOI: 10.2307/4115
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4115
Page Count: 9
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Breeding Area Fidelity of Great Tits (Parus major)
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Abstract

(1) Movement between successive breeding sites (breeding dispersal) for individual great tits in Wytham Wood, Oxford, has been examined from data collected between 1964-75. The majority of birds reoccupy their previous territory. For different categories of bird the median distances moved are between 50 m and 143 m. There are no differences between years in breeding dispersal. (2) Both males and females are likely to return to their former nesting locality after producing a successful brood, irrespective of the survival of their mate. However, following a divorce, females move further than males. The factors that might cause divorce after a successful breeding attempt could not be identified. (3) Females whose brood is preyed upon move further to breed the following year than successful individuals, and are less likely to occupy their former nest box if they stay within the same territory. Both males and females that succeed on a second attempt within a year, after an unsuccessful first brood, disperse further to breed the following year than those successful at the first attempt. Movement of females between nesting sites within a year is less than that between years.

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