Extra-pair copulations can insure female blue tits against male infertility

Peter Santema, Kim Teltscher & Bart Kempenaers
Mating outside the pair-bond occurs frequently in socially monogamous birds, but the benefits that females gain from this behaviour remain debated. One hypothesis is that females engage in extra-pair copulations (EPCs) to ensure that their clutch is fertilised in case their own mate is infertile, but evidence for this idea is scarce. We report on a case of an infertile male blue tit that bred in three successive years with three different females. In the...
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