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Citation. McKinney, F. 1986. Ecological factors influencing the social systems of migratory dabbling ducks. Pages 153-171 in D. I. Rubenstein and R. W. Wrangham, Eds. Ecological Aspects of Social Evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. [1414 CC]
Introduction. Dabbling ducks (Anatini) pose several intriguing problems for behavioral ecologists. Why do they differ from most birds in that females, rather than males, are philopatric? Why are they basically monogamous, given that males do not incubate and play no part in brood care in most species? Why does pairing occur in winter, often months before breeding begins, and why are new pair bonds usually formed each year? Why do males of certain species defend breeding territories? In the light of current views on sex-biased dispersal (Greenwood, 1980), mating system evolution (Emlen and Oring, 1977), and pair-bond duration (Rowley, 1983), these characteristics call for evolutionary explanations in terms of phylogenetic, ecological, and behavioral factors.
Keywords. dabbling ducks,