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1 March 2014 Crouching towhee, hidden scrub-jay: California towhees, Melozone crissalis, attack conspecific mobbing partners while assaulting a western scrub-jay, Aphelocoma californica
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Abstract
We describe an encounter of eight territorial California towhees (Melozone crissalis), alternately engaged in mobbing a western scrub-jay (Aphelocoma californica) and vigorous conspecific attack and display. We additionally characterize a previously unreported crouching posture adopted by the towhees while surrounding the scrub-jay and hypothesize that this posture communicates submissiveness to conspecific owners of a territory. We suggest that this behavioral sequence resulted from a conflict between cooperation among pairs and defense of resources among pairs, wherein behaviors consistent with both were exhibited nearly simultaneously.
Jay P. McEntee and Thomas J. Devitt "Crouching towhee, hidden scrub-jay: California towhees, Melozone crissalis, attack conspecific mobbing partners while assaulting a western scrub-jay, Aphelocoma californica," The Southwestern Naturalist 59(1), (1 March 2014). https://doi.org/10.1894/N13-MRD-24.1
Received: 2 May 2011; Accepted: 1 August 2012; Published: 1 March 2014
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