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Biparental incubation in the chestnut-vented tit-babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum: mates devote equal time, but males keep eggs warmer

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Abstract

Biparental care in birds is less common during incubation than in other nesting stages. Males share in incubating eggs in a minority of bird species, and male effort is generally thought to be lower than females when sharing does occur. However, male assistance and incubation efficacy is poorly studied in such species. We examined sex differences in incubation effort in 12 pairs of a species with biparental incubation, the chestnut-vented tit-babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum. Males and females did not differ in the amount of time spent incubating during the day, time of day spent incubating, nor in their ability to rewarm eggs. Yet, males consistently maintained eggs at higher temperatures than their female partners, despite the absence of a brood patch.

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