Adult coloration of the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Pyrenees: relation to sex, mating system and productivity.
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Adult coloration of the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Pyrenees: relation to sex, mating system and productivity.

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Adult coloration of the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Pyrenees: relation to sex, mating system and productivity.

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dc.contributor.author Duchateau, S
dc.contributor.author Chéliz, G
dc.contributor.author Gil, J.A
dc.contributor.author López-López, P.
dc.date.accessioned 2022-02-09T12:08:47Z
dc.date.available 2022-02-09T12:08:47Z
dc.date.issued 2021
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10550/81553
dc.description.abstract Cosmetic coloration is not a common phenomenon among bird species. Adult Bearded Vultures Gypaetus barbatus typically show orange coloration in head, chest, belly and tarsus feathers that is the result of mud baths in ferruginous substrates. Several non-mutually exclusive visual signalling hypotheses can be proposed to explain this phenomenon. Coloration could be used to signal: (1) dominance towards conspecifics, with darker birds being dominant (status signalling hypothesis); (2) sex (gender signalling hypothesis) because females are usually more intensely coloured; (3) individual quality for mate choice (quality signalling hypothesis); or (4) different reproductive strategies between individuals (e.g. in polyandrous trios). Here we report results from systematic monitoring of breeding Bearded Vultures in the pre-laying period in the central and western Pyrenees (Spain and France) between 2016 and 2020, including 162 individuals from 70 reproductive units (48 pairs and 22 trios). We classified individuals as being white, pale, medium or dark, and analysed the relationship with sex, mating system (pair or trios) and average productivity across years. Our results showed that the most common form was medium (67%), then pale (22%), dark (9%) and white (2%) morphs. Overall, females were darker than males, but with a large overlap in coloration. In trios, dominant males were darker than subordinate males, although differences were not statistically significant. The mating system (pair or trio) did not influence female coloration. A multimodel comparison showed that the number of years of territory occupation, mating system and their combination (but not coloration) were the best predictors of average productivity. Our results do not support the gender signalling hypothesis. The reproductive strategy signalling hypothesis might be supported because beta males were, on average, paler than males in pairs, but this topic requires further investigations because our results were inconclusive. Finally, that females (thought to be dominant because of their slightly larger size) were on average darker than males agrees with the status signalling hypothesis, although an experimental approach would be needed to formally test this hypothesis.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.relation.ispartof Ibis, 2021
dc.rights.uri info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.source Duchateau, S Chéliz, G Gil, J.A López-López, P. 2021 Adult coloration of the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Pyrenees: relation to sex, mating system and productivity. Ibis
dc.subject Zoologia
dc.subject Ornitologia
dc.title Adult coloration of the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Pyrenees: relation to sex, mating system and productivity.
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.date.updated 2022-02-09T12:08:48Z
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.13032
dc.identifier.idgrec 150176

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