The Evolution of Avian Breeding Systems deals with three of the most conspicuous and fascinating aspects of the reproductive biology of birds: sexual selection, parental care, and mating systems. Ever since Darwin, birds have provided much of the stimulus for study of these interrelatedtopics. Researchers have been fascinated by the extent of sexual dimorphism in plumage colours among avian species, and the puzzling development of flamboyant ornamentation or complex courtship displays in male birds. This book provides empirical assessments of the main theories of mate choice byfemales, and also includes related topics such as the role of sexual selection in speciation. Although most avian species are socially monogamous, others exhibit polygyny, cooperative and classical polyandry, or lek-promiscuity. The effects of extra pair copulations on paternity, as well as theirpossible effects on the evolution of mating systems are also considered. Chapters devoted to each of the major mating system summarize current thinking about the factors maintaining them. Throughout the book, theoretical discussion is illustrated with examples, drawn from work on a wide range ofavian species. This is the first book to combine the themes of sexual selection, parental care, and mating systems, and to focus exclusively on birds. It will be welcomed by researchers in animal behaviour and ornithology with an interest in mating systems, as well as by graduate and advancedundergraduate students taking courses in this area. It is illustrated throughout with original line drawings.