Interference during Pairing in Birds

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    IN giving advice on the breeding of turkeys in the Poultry World for Jan. 1 (p. 292), Mr. Edmund Bun-warns breeders against allowing a cock fowl (especially a game-cock) to run with breeding turkeys, as such a bird will often interfere with them when pairing. That cocks interfere with each other's pairing is well known, but it must be exceptionally mischievous birds that extend this interference to other kinds of poultry, while it is remarkable that a bird so powerful and fierce as the turkey-cock permits it, especially as, unlike the fowl, he has his beak free during the act, not using it to grip the hen. M. G. Rogeron, however, in his very instructive book “Les Canards”, records a similar case in which a garganey drake, infatuated with female mandarin ducks, interfered with pairing with impunity, although the mandarin drake is larger and very high-spirited, being well able to hold its own with mallard. Interference with pairing by their fellows may be the reason why the act is observable with comparatively few birds; it is not practised by the rook, but is a perfect mania with the house-crow of India—so much so that in eight years' bird-watching there, the writer of this note never saw the act successfully performed by that species.

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    Interference during Pairing in Birds. Nature 129, 126 (1932) doi:10.1038/129126b0

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