Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Polygymous Great Reed Warblers suffer more Cuckoo parasitism than monogamous pairs

A new article has just been published within the Journal of Avian Biology, this relates to parasitism by Common Cuckoo and promises to be an interesting read. The abstract follows:

Common Cuckoo © Aurelien Audevard 2004

"There is increasing evidence that hosts within a population may not be parasitized by Common Cuckoos with equal probability. Such non-randomness has been documented, for example, for host nest sites and host quality. In this study we demonstrate association between successful Cuckoo parasitism and host social mating system."

Great Reed Warbler © Aelwyn 2007

"We found that nests of socially polygamous Great Reed Warblers were more often successfully parasitized than the nests of their monogamous counterparts. We hypothesize that lack of parental assistance provided by polygamous males to their mates during egg laying period and higher nest activity in their territories could contribute to this discrepancy. These data imply that social mating system should be taken into account in future studies of brood parasitism."

I'm looking forward to getting my copy of the journal to read the full article.

Article Reference: Trnka, A. and Prokop, P. , Polygamous great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus suffer more cuckoo Cuculus canorus parasitism than monogamous pairs. Journal of Avian Biology, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2010.05193.x

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