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Citation. Howitz, J. L. 1991. A case of polyandry in black-capped chickadees. The Loon 63:152-154. [1339 CC]
Introduction. The Black-Capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus) is a familiar bird throughout much of North America, and several studies (see references) have concluded that they are monogamous. Each bird has no more than one mate during a breeding season, and generally retains the same mate in succeeding breeding seasons, provided both survive. Polyandry can be defined as a situation where a female has more than one mate. I report here a case of polyandry in Black-capped Chickadees. A male chickadee, when his mate dies, stopped defending a separate territory, and formed a polyandrous association with a female that already had a mate and nest.
Keywords. Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Black-capped Chickadee, Parus atricapillus, polyandry