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The Frontal Shield of the American Coot
Gordon W. Gullion
The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 63, No. 3 (Sep., 1951), pp. 157-166
Published by: Wilson Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4157968
Page Count: 10
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The frontal shield plays an important role in the life of the American Coot. Paired birds recognize one another at least in part by means of shield-shape and -size, and the social behavior of birds can be predicted from the size of the shield. Since territory defense and enlargement of the frontal shield are synchronous phenomena, it seems probable that both result from the same stimulus. Furthermore, the secretions governing shield-growth and territorial behavior are apparently also involved in migratory and sexual behavior.
The Wilson Bulletin © 1951 Wilson Ornithological Society