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Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)


Aaron Pearse (1997) - Effects of food supplementation on incubation behavior of Bewick's Wrens (Thryomanes bewickii) and House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) (Mentors: John Cavitt and Jack Cully)

The extent of paternal investment during the incubation period varies between passerine species. For example, the provisioning of incubating females by males (incubation feeding) is a common behavior found in over 40% of passerines. I examined why Bewick's Wren males provide food to incubating females at a higher rate than House Wrens males. A ration of 15 g of mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor) was delivered to supplemented nests every 1-2 days. Mealworms were placed in small containers attached to the inside of nestboxes. Parental behavior was monitored by video taping nest activity. Females provided with additional food had longer incubation bouts and shorter incubation recesses but there were no significant effects on correlates of fitness examined.