Parental care does not vary with age-dependent plumage in male Saffron Finches Sicalis flaveola
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 British Ornithologists’ Union
Volume 153, Issue 2, pages 421–424, April 2011
How to Cite
PALMERIO, A. G. and MASSONI, V. (2011), Parental care does not vary with age-dependent plumage in male Saffron Finches Sicalis flaveola. Ibis, 153: 421–424. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2011.01103.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 18 FEB 2011
- Received 3 May 2010; revision accepted 22 January 2011. Associate Editor: Stephan Schoech.
- nestling condition;
- plumage maturation;
- status signalling hypothesis
The status signalling hypothesis states that conspicuous male plumage varies among males and serves as an honest signal of male quality and competitive ability. We expected immature-plumaged males of the Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola to feed their incubating mates and nestlings and remove faecal sacs at lower rates than those of mature-plumaged males. We also predicted that females paired with immature-plumaged males would compensate for their mates’ lower contribution. We found no differences in either feeding rates or sanitation rates between immature- and mature-plumaged males. Similarly, females mated to immature- and mature-plumaged males fed nestlings at equivalent rates. Apparently, male plumage colour and age are not reliable signals of the ability of a male Saffron Finch to provide for his mate and offspring.