Translator Disclaimer
1 June 2010 Responses of Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus to Non-Mimetic Eggs of Different Sizes in a Nest Parasitism Experiment
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Host rejection of parasitic eggs is the most important defence against avian brood parasitism. Here, we examined the influence of egg size differences between host and parasite eggs on egg rejection behaviour in a population of Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus parasitized by Common Cuckoos Cuculus canorus. To this end, we experimentally parasitized host clutches using real Chinese Quail Coturnix chinensis and conspecific eggs. Both egg types were painted immaculate blue. The Chinese Quail eggs differed from host eggs in both size and colour, while the conspecific eggs differed only in colour. There were no differences in the rate of rejection rate of the two types of experimental eggs. However, Chinese Quail eggs were rejected primarily by nest desertion, whereas conspecific eggs were mostly ejected. Moreover, clutches with Chinese Quail eggs were deserted significantly sooner in comparison with the ejection of conspecific eggs. Therefore, egg size differences apparently affect the mode and speed but not the rate of egg rejection in this host population.

Bård G. Stokke, Lenka Polačiková, Andrzej Dyrcz, Inge Hafstad, Arne Moksnes, and Eivin Røskaft "Responses of Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus to Non-Mimetic Eggs of Different Sizes in a Nest Parasitism Experiment," Acta Ornithologica 45(1), 98-104, (1 June 2010). https://doi.org/10.3161/000164510X516137
Received: 1 August 2009; Accepted: 1 March 2010; Published: 1 June 2010
JOURNAL ARTICLE
7 PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top