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Citation. McKinney, F. 1985. Primary and secondary male reproductive strategies of dabbing ducks. Pages 68-82 in P. A. Gowaty and D. W. Mock, editors. Avian Monogamy. Ornithological Monographs, vol. 37. [1413 CC]
Abstract. Monogamy is the primary mating system in dabbling ducks. Paired males contribute to their mate's breeding effort by (a) protecting the female from predators and disturbance by rival males while she feeds intensively during the period of egg production (probably all Anas species), (b) defending a territory within which the female feeds (several species), (c) helping to care for the ducklings (certain southern hemisphere species). Paired males also engage in forced extra-pair copulations (recorded in 21 of 37 Anas species to date) and in some species these may be important secondary reproductive strategies. Polygamy does not occur in holarctic species, probably because each male is unable to monopolize more than one female in synchronously breeding populations with male-biased adult sex-ratios, but bigamous behavior has been observed in captives Or three southern hemisphere species (Cape Teal, A. capensis; Speckled Teal, A. flavirostris; White-cheeked Pintail, A. bahamensis). Opportunities for males to hold two mates simultaneously may occur in wild populations of such species because extended and/or irregular breeding seasons are likely to produce asynchrony in the breeding and molt schedules of individuals.
Keywords. dabbling ducks, monogamy