HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Parasitic cowbirds thrive with a less ruthless strategy than cuckoos

Berkeley - America's brown-headed cowbird and the European cuckoo are the classic parasitic birds, laying their eggs in the nests of other bird species and leaving the chick-rearing to another parent.

But while a cuckoo hatchling thrives by muscling its host's eggs out of the nest and hogging all the food, a new study by biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Cambridge in England shows that cowbird chicks survive with a less ruthless strategy.

A cowbird chick instead joins its nestmates in a chirping chorus that brings in more food than one noisy cowbird chick could demand from its host parents. By eating more than its share, the researchers found, the cowbird chick actually grows faster when sharing the nest and food with two host chicks than it does when all alone in the nest.

"The cowbird alone is incapable of bringing in enough parental resources - basically food - to be able to grow optimally," said Mark E. Hauber, a Miller Research Fellow in UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. "When it has nestmates, the whole nest brings in more parental care, because there is more begging altogether, and so the parents attend the nest more. But the cowbird monopolizes the feeding attempts by the parents. In these experiments, instead of getting 33 percent of the feedings that a brood of two host chicks and one cowbird chick gets, the cowbird actually got over 50 percent of the feeding. So, it grew better than when it was living alone."

Hauber, along with University of Cambridge biologists Rebecca M. Kilner and Joah R. Madden, published the findings in the August 6 issue of Science. Hauber will take a faculty position at the University of Auckland in New Zealand at the end of this year.

Though reviled by bird lovers, cowbirds have proved spectacularly successful, having expanded their range from the Midwest to the entire United States over the past 400 years. This is partly due to their p
'"/>

Contact: Robert Sanders
rls@pa.urel.berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley
5-Aug-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Parasitic worms read the bodys immune condition and reproduce accordingly
2. HHMI To Award $14 Million In New International Program To Support Research On Infectious And Parasitic Diseases
3. Two Parasitic Wasps Show Promise For Controlling Pest Flies
4. Antarctic penguins thrive in ocean oases
5. Scientists decode genes of microbe that thrives in toxic metals
6. Bacteria may thrive in Antarctic lake
7. Meet the chemical that lets sea creatures thrive
8. Microbes in basalt thrive on mixed diet of toxic waste
9. Butterflies thrive in restored roadside prairies
10. A novel, safer strategy for regulating gene expression
11. New anti-inflammatory strategy for cancer therapy identified by UCSD researchers

Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2014)... have been blamed for increasing the risk of ... family history of schizophrenia, are widely accepted. Others, ... a parasite transmitted by soil, undercooked meat and ... A new study by Gary Smith, professor of ... Pennsylvania,s School of Veterinary Medicine, used epidemiological modeling ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... number of chemicals from household and industrial products are ... bodies. But for most of them, scientists have yet ... taken the first step toward doing that by estimating ... new method is published in the ACS journal ... and colleagues note that the risks to human health ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... on September 19, 2014, leading geneticist and humanitarian Prof. ... Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington in ... Aviv University, was awarded the 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement ... honorary degree from TAU, Prof. King was the 2012-2013 ... for the past 18 years she has been the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Penn vet professor investigates parasite-schizophrenia connection 2Penn vet professor investigates parasite-schizophrenia connection 3Geneticist and humanitarian: Prof. Mary-Claire King receives Lasker Award 2
(Date:10/30/2014)... Ras Al Khaimah, UAE (PRWEB) October 30, 2014 ... the appointment of Dr. James A. Manganello, Chairman of the ... (NSCEC) of The Bahamas. The appointment was made by ... The Bahamas on September 24th, 2014. , More ... Cell Therapy and Research Bill , Prime Minister Perry Christie ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... in the development of quantum technologies has been proposed ... published today (28 October) in Nature Communications , ... a new type of flexibly designed microscopic trap for ... and specialised superfast computers, often depend on harnessing the ... these tiny particles are hugely problematic because of the ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... 27, 2014 The Italian ... exhibit and sell its artificial "lower limb", after ... patent.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141027/713097 ... fighting, the definitive judgement has arrived: Roadrunnerfoot, the ... and accessible hi-tech prostheses with composite materials, has ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... MA (PRWEB) October 27, 2014 ... profit. SoundConnect , an industry leading unified ... its partners and agents to deliver cloud-based audio ... accelerate growth opportunities. , With SoundConnect’s Q4 ... every twenty-five video and/or web conferencing licenses sold, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Grace Century’s Stem Cell Biobank Project Announces Chairman’s Appointment to National Stem Cell Ethics Committee of The Bahamas 2Grace Century’s Stem Cell Biobank Project Announces Chairman’s Appointment to National Stem Cell Ethics Committee of The Bahamas 3Italian Lower Limb Prosthesis Company Wins Lawsuit Against German Giant Ottobock 2SoundConnect Unveils Q4 Partner Incentives 2
Cached News: