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Two warbler species find the West isn't big enough for both of them

shown that hermit males become agitated only when other hermit males are encroaching, while Townsend's males react strongly toward other Townsend's and to hermits. Hybrids tend to exhibit behavior closer to Townsend's.

But the competition isn't just for territory. When the two species are in the same locale, the Townsend's also seem to have the upper hand in attracting females even hermit females. That is particularly true when the quality of habitat declines, leaving the female with a choice on which her survival could depend.

"In low-quality habitat, Townsend's males are more able to attract females than hermits are," Butler said. "And that research is done in the hybrid zone, where there are both types."


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Contact: Vince Stricherz
vinces@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
24-Aug-2004


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