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The capacity to get rid of excess heat produced during hard work is a possible constraint on parental effort during reproduction (heat dissipation limit [HDL] theory). We released hard-working blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) from this constraint by experimentally removing ventral plumage. We then assessed if this changed their reproductive effort (feeding rate and nestling size) and levels of self-maintenance (change in body mass and innate immune function). Feather-clipped females reduced thedoi:10.1242/jeb.219790 pmid:32179546 fatcat:7ie7cky2mjhtfk3fr77264wj3m