Divorce in Northern Flickers

Karen Wiebe
Divorce is widespread among species of birds and may either be an adaptive strategy to secure a better mate or territory or be a non-adaptive result of a failure to maintain the pairbond. I examined the causes and consequences for divorce in the Norther Flicker (Colaptes auratus), a migratory woodpecker with a high annual mortality rate. In a long-term population study of 1793 breeding pairs over 17 years, the within-season divorce rate was 4.6% and...
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