Female Moorhens Compete for Small Fat Males

Science  22 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4595, pp. 413-415
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4595.413


Female moorhens in flocks competed with each other to obtain mates. The heaviest females won most of the agonistic encounters, and these females paired with males that had large fat reserves. Fat males tended to be small, possibly because of energetic constraints on birds of large body size. Females paired with fat males initiated more nesting attempts in a season.