The Mountain Plover is a shorebird of conservation concern that breeds in disturbed areas of the Great Plains and Great Basin of western North America (Knopf and Wunder 2006). It has an uncommon mating system known as “rapid multi-clutch” where male and female plovers tend separate nests.
In this system the male sets up a territory and displays to attract a female. After mating she lays a 3-egg clutch and leaves. He incubates the eggs and tends to the chicks by himself. The female has the opportunity to mate with other males but ultimately she lays another 3-egg clutch and cares for those entirely by herself. Previous studies found that nests attended by male Mountain Plovers have greater nest survival than females (0.49 for males, 0.33 for females; Dinsmore et al. 2002).
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