Navigation Links
Magpie parents know a baby cuckoo when they see one
Date:12/11/2013

Cuckoos that lay their eggs in the nest of a magpie so that their chicks can be raised by the latter better hope that their young are not raised together with other magpies. The chances of cuckoo fledglings raised in mixed broods being fed by their foster parents are much lower, according to research led by Manuel Soler of the Universidad de Granada in Spain. The findings are published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

The post-fledging period is a critical phase for juvenile survival during which parental care is still very important. This is also true for inter-specific brood parasites, whose offspring are incubated and raised by members of other species. Very little is known however about the relationships between foster parents and fledglings of brood parasites. Sometimes, great spotted cuckoo and magpie nestlings from the same nest can fledge successfully, but most often parasitic nestlings out-compete host nestlings and only cuckoos leave the nest.

Soler and his team studied the brood parasitic great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) and its magpie (Pica pica) foster parents over the course of five breeding seasons. Aspects of cuckoo post-fledging performance, such as feeding behavior, parental defense and fledgling survival, were studied in experimental nests in which only cuckoos or both magpie and cuckoo nestlings survived until leaving the nest. Some of the fledglings were also radio tracked. The study was the first to focus on the defense behavior of adult magpies towards parasite fledglings.

They found that great spotted cuckoo fledglings are more frequently fed by magpie hosts when they are reared in nests with cuckoo-only broods, compared to those reared sharing the nest with host nestlings. This is especially true in the first three weeks after fledglings leave the nest. These are the first experimental results to show the importance of the nest situation for the performance of brood parasite fledglings.

The results support the idea that magpies are capable of discriminating cuckoo fledglings when they are allowed to compare them with their own fledglings. The researchers believe that the difference disappeared three weeks after leaving the nest because fledgling cuckoos by then tend to join cuckoo groups that are communally fed by more magpies than those involved in rearing the cuckoos in the nest.

"The presence of the host's own nestlings for comparison may be a crucial clue favoring the evolution of fledgling discrimination;" writes Soler. "Furthermore, the risk of discrimination at the fledgling stage probably is an important selection pressure driving the evolution of the arms race between brood parasites and their hosts."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Starting a family does not encourage parents to eat healthier
2. Parents say that healthy eating is challenging for youth who play sports
3. Parents seen as critical stakeholders in expanding newborn screening
4. Questionnaire completed by parents may help identify 1-year-olds at risk for autism
5. Parents talking to their teens about being overweight
6. Environment schemes for kids influence parents behavior
7. Disappearing nannies force parents to accept their duties
8. CU-Boulder study looks at microbial differences between parents, kids and dogs
9. Blame your parents for bunion woes
10. CU study relies on twins and their parents to understand height-IQ connection
11. Bees that go Cuckoo in others nests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the ... has already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s ... for BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of ... In addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016   ... ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited ... of its soon to be launched online site for ... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide potential shareholders a ... DNA technology to an industry that is notorious for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of ... their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been ... Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... - FACIT has announced the creation of a ... Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), to ... of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of ... an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential ... patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) ... precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of ... 15 countries. Read More About the Class of 2016 ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: