What determines the pattern of sharing of incubation and brooding in ring doves?

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38 pairs of ring doves (Streptopelia risoria), nesting in the laboratory, showed stable patterns of sharing of incubation and brooding, with the male sitting on the eggs or young for a block of time toward the middle of the day. There was great variability from pair to pair in the amount and timing of sitting by each mate and in the frequency of nest exchanges. Despite this variability, the eggs were never left unincubated. It is shown that the particular sitting pattern of individual pairs cannot be accounted for by endogenous circadian differences for when each sex will incubate or by endogenous circadian differences in competing responses; they are probably due to the development of cooperative interactions between mates. The amount and pattern of sitting by each bird were stable over several breeding cycles but were altered when either partner was given a new mate. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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