Effect of nest-site supplementation on polygynous behavior in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon)

  • Published source details Johnson L.S. & Kermott L.H. (1991) Effect of nest-site supplementation on polygynous behavior in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon). The Condor, 93, 784-787.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

    A replicated, controlled study from May-August in 1985-7 in two woodland ranches consisting sites in Wyoming, USA (Johnson & Kermott 1991) found that house wren Troglodytes aedon males nesting in nest boxes exhibited higher frequencies of polygyny than those males in natural cavities polygyny was greater amongst males in nest boxes (controlling > 1 nest boxes/territory) than those in natural cavities (53 compared to 10% of males respectively). Furthermore, 83% of nest box males and 47% of cavity males made consistent attempts at attracting second mates.  Song output (songs sung / hr) was significantly higher for males attempting polygyny but were similar between polygynous nestbox and cavity males. The authors conclude that, although nestboxes do no cause polygyny in wrens, access to nest boxes appears to facilitate higher rates of polygyny. In 15 experimental sites two or three nest boxes (25-40 m apart) were erected, 31 control sites were also studied.


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