Repeatability of combat rate across different group compositions in male house finches

Masaru Hasegawa, Mathieu Giraudeau, Russell A. Ligon, Nobuyuki Kutsukake, Mamoru Watanabe, Kevin McGraw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Studies of animal contests have focused on the probability of winning an encounter, because it directly affects the benefits of competition. However, the costs (e.g., physiological stress) and benefits of competition should also depend on the number of aggressive encounters per unit time (combat rate, hereafter) in which the focal individual is involved. Using colourful and drab male house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) from urban and rural sites, we showed that combat rate was repeatable across the same and different group sizes for birds who won competitions. In addition, colourful urban males exhibited the lowest propensity for frequent aggression (and hence low combat rate). However, male bill size (another trait we previously found to correlate with male competitiveness in this species) was not related to aggressive propensity. Combat rate can be predicted by male identity and some, but not all, predictors of male competitiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-904
Number of pages22
Issue number10-12
StatePublished - 2018


  • Haemorhous mexicanus
  • aggressiveness
  • bill size
  • contest competition
  • personality
  • plumage coloration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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