Campus Units

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

9-2011

Journal or Book Title

The Wilson Journal of Ornithology

Volume

123

Issue

3

First Page

608

Last Page

613

DOI

10.1676/10-142.1

Abstract

We studied seasonal profiles of circulating testosterone concentrations among male and female adult Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) breeding in nest-box colonies near Ames, Iowa, USA. Mean plasma testosterone in males was elevated during nest establishment (0.63 ± 0.86 ng/ml) and incubation stages (0.28 ± 0.26 ng/ml), and was significantly lower after hatching (0.03 ± 0.05 ng/ml) when males began provisioning nestlings. Male swallows do not incubate and high testosterone during the incubation stage may facilitate pursuit of extra-pair matings. Female testosterone concentrations were an order of magnitude lower than those of males (nest establishment, mean  =  0.06 ± 0.09 ng/ml) and did not change significantly over the breeding season. These testosterone profiles support the hypothesis that elevated testosterone in males is associated with defense behaviors and obtaining additional mating opportunities during the first part of the breeding season, but is incompatible with parental care once the eggs have hatched.

Comments

This article is from The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123 (2011); 608, doi: 10.1676/10-142.1. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

The Wilson Ornithological Society

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS