Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Infanticide by male and female house sparrows

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1990
Authors:Veiga, J
Journal:Animal Behaviour
Date Published:1990
ISBN Number:0003-3472
Keywords:Passer, Passer domesticus, Passeridae
Abstract:Of 211 breeding attempts of house sparrows, Passer domesticus, 9-12% were affected by successful or apparently attempted infanticide. Among males, infanticide appeared to be committed by territorial individuals that had recently lost their mates. Since there was a large population of female floaters, such males had access to mates, suggesting that intrasexual competition for mates was not a necessary precondition for male infanticide in this population. Infanticidal males bred with the females whose chicks they killed sooner than replacement males that refrained from infanticide. Females that mated with bigamous males lost eggs and nestlings due to infanticide by females more frequently than did monogamous females. Moreover, primary females (the only ones assisted by the male) tended to suffer from infanticide by females more often than did secondary females. This suggests that females commit infanticide in order to monopolize paternal investment.
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