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Female birds call the shots in divorce

Female birds call the shots in divorce

Image: Purple-crowned Fairy-wren.

Lead researcher and ARC Future Fellow, Associate Professor Anne Peters, is shedding new light on the causes of divorce in monogamous year-round territorial birds.  A Monash University study of the endangered Purple-crowned Fairy-wren has discovered the females are calling the shots when it comes to breaking up.

Researchers studied 317 breeding pairs to learn what was driving the behaviour. As many as one in five avian pairs ended in divorce over nine years, Associate Professor Peters said they were surprised to find it was the females who were more likely to break up. "Females exhibit long term planning and are more likely to end their relationship when the opportunity for a better territory arises," she explained.

 

(Media issued by Monash University)

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