First record of social polygyny with multi-brood paternal care in the European Roller Coracias garrulus


Authors: Teresa CATRY and Inês CATRY


Published: Volume 64.1, January 2017. Pages 101-107.

Language: English

Keywords: breeding system, European Roller, parental care and social polygyny


The European Roller Coracias garrulus has been described as a socially monogamous species with biparental care. Recently, intense monitoring and new methodological tools have suggested that alternative breeding strategies may occur. Here, we describe the first known record of social polygyny with multi-brood paternal care in the European Roller. During a long-term monitoring programme in Castro Verde, Southern Portugal, we recorded a male Roller simultaneously attending two neighbouring nests throughout the incubation and chick-rearing periods. Brood provisioning was female-biased in one of the nests, while the degree of male parental care during chick-rearing was similar between nests. Chicks fledged successfully from both broods. Future studies should investigate the prevalence and the drivers of this alternative breeding strategy in this species.

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