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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

FEMALE FERTILITY ANNOUNCEMENT: DO FEMALE HOUSE WRENS (TROGLODYTES AEDON) ADJUST SINGING BEHAVIOR PRIOR TO CLUTCH INITIATION?**

Abstract

Despite evidence that many male songbirds adjust their vocal behavior when their mate is fertile, few studies have explored whether females also adjust patterns of singing during early stages of breeding. For females, increased song output prior to clutch initiation may increase the likelihood of fertilization success. In this study, we test the hypothesis that female house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) that increase song output during their fertile period have higher fitness. We recorded females breeding in nest boxes prior to clutch initiation, quantified song output, and defined reproductive success as the number of eggs laid and offspring fledged. Our study is an important step towards understanding the potential consequences of female singing behavior on fitness.

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