Birds of Indian Subcontinent

The Role of Prolactin in Parental Care in a Monogamous and a Polyandrous Shorebird

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1990
Authors:Gratto-Trevor, CL, Oring, LW, Fivizzani, AJ, Halawani, MEEl, Cooke, F
Journal:The Auk
Date Published:1990
ISBN Number:00048038
Keywords:Calidris, Calidris pusilla, Calidris pusillus, Ereunetes, Ereunetes pusilla, Ereunetes pusillus, Lobipes, Lobipes lobatus, Phalaropus, Phalaropus lobatus, Scolopacidae, Xenus, Xenus cinereus
Abstract:We compared circulating prolactin levels in two species of shorebirds which have very different social systems, and which breed sympatrically at La Pérouse Bay, 40 km east of Churchill, Manitoba. Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) are monogamous and share incubation equally, although females normally desert broods earlier than males. Red-necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) are facultatively polyandrous, and only males care for eggs and young. High prolactin values were correlated with persistent incubation behavior in male Red-necked Phalaropes, and male and female Semipalmated Sandpipers. Prolactin levels in Semipalmated Sandpipers increased dramatically at the onset of incubation, and were not different between the sexes. Incubating male phalaropes had greater prolactin values than the non-incubating males and females. Changes in prolactin levels, however, did not explain the early brood desertion of female Semipalmated Sandpipers. Prolactin levels did not decline with age of brood in either sex of this species.
Short Title:The Auk
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith