Translator Disclaimer
1 June 2009 Misdirected Parental Care by a Male Eastern Towhee at a Wood Thrush Nest
Kelly M. Schaeffer, William P. Brown, W. Gregory Shriver
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Misdirected parental care, or care directed toward unrelated young, has been recorded for many bird species. The Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) is not known to practice this behavior or allow other species to attend to its young. We observed a Wood Thrush nest with three Wood Thrush nestlings and one Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) nestling being attended by a male Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus). The towhee fed the young of both species in the nest for at least 5 days and was subsequently observed feeding a Wood Thrush fledgling. The towhee also participated in nest maintenance and defense. The proximate cause of towhee attendance at the Wood Thrush nest remains unknown, but begging calls from the nestlings may have stimulated the behavior.

Kelly M. Schaeffer, William P. Brown, and W. Gregory Shriver "Misdirected Parental Care by a Male Eastern Towhee at a Wood Thrush Nest," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121(2), 427-429, (1 June 2009). https://doi.org/10.1676/08-085.1
Received: 28 June 2008; Accepted: 1 November 2008; Published: 1 June 2009
JOURNAL ARTICLE
3 PAGES


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