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Abstract

In most avian species, both genders contribute extensively to the raising of their offspring, and the Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) is no exception. While only the females incubate the eggs, both sexes provision nestlings and remove fecal sacs from the nest. Minimal research has been done on the parental care behavior of Carolina Chickadees, so we performed an observational study to confirm basic characteristics such as which sex provides more care and how much care parents provide for nestlings of different ages. During this study, we performed daily, hour-long observations in which we recorded both provisioning visits and fecal sac removals by the parents. We found that provisioning increased over time and that males both provisioned more and removed more fecal sacs than females. Our results are consistent with previous studies and illustrate the importance of male parental care for Carolina Chickadees.

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