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Morphological signals of sex and status in spotted bowerbirds

Madden, Joah R., Endler, John A. and Jury, Francine 2004, Morphological signals of sex and status in spotted bowerbirds, Emu, vol. 104, no. 1, pp. 21-30, doi: 10.1071/MU03007.

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Title Morphological signals of sex and status in spotted bowerbirds
Author(s) Madden, Joah R.
Endler, John A.ORCID iD for Endler, John A. orcid.org/0000-0002-7557-7627
Jury, Francine
Journal name Emu
Volume number 104
Issue number 1
Start page 21
End page 30
Publisher Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (aka Birds Australia)
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2004
ISSN 0158-4197
1448-5540
Summary The Spotted Bowerbird, Chlamydera maculata, appears to be sexually monomorphic. We caught and marked 118 birds in central Queensland, and sexed 88 using molecular methods. We found that our catch was strongly male-biased, both at bower sites and at non-bower feeding sites. We continued to observe the bird's behaviour after their release and so sub-divided males into sexual status groups as either bower-owners or non-owners. We searched for morphological measures, subjectively judged colour differences and quantitatively collected spectral measures of the visual properties of the crest feathers that would allow us to separate birds of differing sex and status. We found that bower owners had larger crests than non-owner males or females and that crest area provided the most accurate predictor of a bird's sex and status in a discriminant function analysis. We studied a cohort of seven males who went from non-owners to bower owners over three years, and found that their change in status was accompanied by a change in crest size – the only significant change in their morphology. Crest size did not relate to the mating success of a bower-owner. Instead, we suggest why the crest may differ between status groups and the implications that this may have for the sexual behaviour of male and female Spotted Bowerbirds.
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Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MU03007
Field of Research 060801 Animal Behaviour
060604 Comparative Physiology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (aka Birds Australia)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30023065

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.