Cooperative Breeding in Birds: Long Term Studies of Ecology and Behaviour

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Stacey and Koenig discuss the phenomenon of cooperative breeding among birds, an unusual kind of social behavior common to only a few hundred species worldwide, in which individuals other than the male-female pairs help to raise the young of a single nest or den. Because certain individuals aid in raising offspring which are not their own, cooperative breeding gives rise to some of the clearest examples of altruism among animals. This unique breeding behavior is of interest to evolutionary biologists and behavioral ecologists since such species exhibit some of the most unusual and bizarre social behavior observed anywhere in the animal kingdom. The studies are all long term and consequently the book summarizes some of the most extensive studies of the behavior of marked individuals ever undertaken. Graduate students and research workers in ornithology, sociobiology, behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology will find much of value in this book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I strongly recommend this book to any biologist interested in behavioral ecology, sociality, or ornithology. It provides an excellent review of many of the primary cooperative breeding studies of the last two decades, points the way to future research, and touches on some of the more general problems in behavioral ecology. It would make a good addition to personal as well as to professional libraries." The Auk

"...this is much more than a collection. In addition to a thorough index, there is a helpful 9-page introduction and a 20-page summary to synthesize the diverse studies and give a much needed overview of this interesting area of study. Abundant illustrative materials....Highly recommended." Choice

" excellent summary of what is currently known about cooperative breeding, and offers more information to the reader than a review of the topic with only selected examples given to support specific points. Indeed, with all of the information included, it is a good reference source for general and population breeding of birds, quite aside from any questions concerning cooperative breeding. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in behavioral ecology, population biology, or even just the intricacies of the lives of birds." Kevin McGowan, Journal of Field Ornithology

"...this book is a celebration of some of the finest field studies ever undertaken, and a splendid introduction to an important strand of behavioral ecology." Andrew Cockburn, Quarterly Review of Biology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521378901
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Pages: 636
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Frontispiece; Contributors; Introduction P. B. Stacey and W. D. Koenig; 1. Splendid Fairy-wrens: demonstrating the importance of longevity I. C. R. Rowley and E. Russell; 2. Green Woodhoopoes: life history traits and sociality J. D. Ligon and S. H. Ligon; 3. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers: a 'primitive' cooperative breeder J. R. Walters; 4. Arabian Babblers: the quest for social status in a cooperative breeder A. Zahavi; 5. Hoatzins: cooperative breeding in a folivorous neotropical bird S. D. Strahl and A. Schmitz; 6. Campylorhynchus wrens: the ecology of delayed dispersal and cooperation in the Venezuelan savanna K. N. Rabenold; 7. Pinyon Jays: making the best of a bad situation by helping J. M. Marzluff and R. P. Balda; 8. Florida Scrub Jays: a synopsis after 18 years of study G. E. Woolfenden and J. W. Fitzpatrick; 9. Mexican Jays: uncooperative breeding J. L. Brown and E. R. Brown; 10. Galápagos mockingbirds: territorial cooperative breeding in a climatically variable environment R. L. Curry and P. R. Grant; 11. Groove-billed Anis: joint-nesting in a tropical cuckoo R. R. Koford, B. S. Bowen and S. L. Vehrencamp; 12. Galápagos and Harris' Hawks: divergent causes of sociality in two raptors J. Faaborg and J. C. Bednarz; 13. Pukeko: different approaches and some different answers J. L. Craig and I. G. Jamieson; 14. Acorn Woodpeckers: group-living and food storage under contrasting ecological conditions W. D. Koenig and P. B. Stacey; 15. Dunnocks: cooperation and conflict among males and females in a variable mating system N. B. Davies; 16. White-fronted Bee-eaters: helping in a colonially nesting species S. T. Emlen; 17. Pied Kingfishers: ecological causes and reproductive consequences of cooperative breeding H.-U. Reyer; 18. Noisy Miners: variations on the theme of communality D. D. Dow and M. J. Whitmore; Summary J. N. M. Smith; Index.

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