Ornis Hungarica. vol.5. (1995) p.1-14.
Monogamy in precocial birds: a review
I review the types of monogamy and four factors that may promote its maintenance in precocial birds. Studies suggest that increased reproductive success achieved by biparental care can favour the maintenance of monogamy in many precocial species. Two parents are often essential for successful breeding in a variety of taxa that feed their young and breed under harsh conditions. Experiments in which one of the parents was removed from the family suggest, that the importance of male and female parental care may be different in species that do not feed the young: the presence of females always increased the reproductive success, while the presence of males usually had little or no effects on the number of offspring produced. Because male removal did not result in total reproductive failure in many species with self-feeding young, factors other than the advantages of biparental care should often play role in the maintenance of monogamy. Experiments suggest that individuals may often benefit from improved condition and survival of their mate. Low EPP may favour monogamy if the defence of the mate against competitors or intrasexual aggression between potential mates restricts the opportunity of obtaining extra mates. Hypotheses reviewed here are not mutually exclusive and individuals may benefit from monogamy in more than one way.