Genetic analysis of passerine birds often finds evidence of extra–pair copulations within species, but genetic evidence of intraspecific brood parasitism (IBP) and quasi–parasitism (Q–P) are relatively rare. Further, it is even rarer for genetic patterns that might indicate quasi–parasitism (resident male sires offspring through extra–pair copulations, and allows the female to lay these within the male’s nest) to be coupled with observational evidence of this behavior. In this paper, we report behavioral observations surrounding the nest of black–capped chickadee, one of the few species in which both IBP and Q–P have been detected through a genetic analysis. These were later confirmed to have young genetically mismatched with both attending parents, as well as mismatched with the attending female but sired by the attending male. The behavioral patterns associated with this nest are contrasted with the two previously reported cases of IPB/Q–P in this species, and suggest that rare ‘detection’ of quasi–parasitism may be explained by converging patterns of extra–pair behavior and the rarer strategy of intraspecific brood parasitism.
Interspecific brood parasitism, Quasi–parasitism, Black–capped chickadees
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