Study Finds Free Mate Choice Enhances Finch Breeding Performance

New researcher from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen has found that finches who were free to choose their own mate enjoyed greater breeding performance than those in forced pairings. Those with free mate choice laid more eggs, with greater rates of fertility and were more successful in rearing the young to independence.


From the institute’s website:

The team analyzed more than 1700 hours of observation to find out how incompatibility is reflected in the behaviour of the different pairs. While males were equally motivated to court their female partner, females in forced relationships were less willing to copulate with their assigned mate. An analysis of social behaviour further revealed that partners of chosen pairs behaved more synchronously and stayed closer together than partners of forced pairs.

The study focused only on Zebra Finches, however it would make sense that the same principle would apply to other species of finches too. Whether you prefer single-pair aviaries or colony breeding, this research is incredibly valuable for those looking to maximize their breeding output.