House sparrow, Passer domesticus, communal displays

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1987
Journal:Animal Behaviour
Date Published:1987
ISBN Number:0003-3472
Keywords:Passer, Passer domesticus, Passeridae
Abstract:Communal displays involving a single female and several male house sparrows took place in the fertile period of the female, especially early in the morning, and during the first brood. Display rates closely paralleled copulation activity and mate guarding (males chasing away other males from the vicinity of the female mates). Male mates and dominant males in particular participated in displays, which were directed particularly towards female mates of dominant males. Cloaca-pecking during displays performed by nonmate male sparrows was common in the fertile period of the female. Male mates gave alarm-calls and/or defended their female mates, remaining at the site until the display ceased. Female house sparrows reacted aggressively to non-mate males during displays. Three extra-pair copulations were recorded during communal displays, and one attempt was seen elsewhere. Dominant male sparrows and their mates experienced high costs of participating in communal displays because of predation risks, but dominant males simultaneously obtained large benefits because they were able to guard their mates and to engage in extra-pair copulations with unguarded females.
Short Title:Animal Behaviour
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith