by Les D. Beletsky and Gordon H. Orians
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-226-04187-2 | Cloth: 978-0-226-04186-5
Library of Congress Classification QL696.P2475B45 1996
Dewey Decimal Classification 598.881

Drawing on detailed data from their sixteen-year study of red-winged blackbirds in the marshes of Washington's Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, Beletsky and Orians analyze the information redwings use to make breeding-season decisions and the consequences these decisions have for lifetime reproductive success. Because male and female redwings make different, and often independent, decisions—males focus on territory acquisition and maintenance, while females must choose when and where to nest and how much energy to invest in reproduction—the authors have taken the novel approach of studying the sexes separately.

Using analyses of observational data combined with field experiments and game-theoretical models, the authors provide new insights into the complex patterns of reproductive decision-making and breeding behavior in redwings. This book will be of interest to all who study social animals, including behavioral ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and ornithologists.