Two cases of nest sharing by two Blackbird pairs each were recorded during a long-term urban study. In the first case, two females simultaneously incubated eggs in the same nest. The nestlings were later seen to be fed by the two pairs of adult birds. In the second case, a nest containing 4 eggs laid by one female wastaken over by another which, having chased the nest owner away, laid 5 eggs of her own. The likely cause of nest sharing in the first case was the loss of eggs at an early stage of laying by the second female. In the second case, nest sharing seems to have been caused by nest competition. The details of the parents and siblings of the females involved in the first case permits the conclusion that the absence of competition between the females (and even their co-operation in feeding the young) was not caused by their genetic affinity.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1