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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/31/2016)... R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm ... of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who ... members of the original technical leadership team, including Chief ... President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President ... returned to the company. Dr. Bready served ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... 22, 2016 Unique technology ... for superior security   Xura, ... of secure digital communications services, today announced it is ... offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial Services ... voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and in ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... , March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ... mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new series ... the week of March 21 st .  The commercials will ... its popular Squawk on the Street show. --> ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry will testify ... before the United States House Committee on Science, Space and ... controlling the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) Oxitec has pioneered ... in Brazil , Panama ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... 20, 2016 , ... The leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine Company, VetStem Biopharma ... treated over 100 of their own patients with the VetStem Cell Therapy. Each of ... care for their patients. , The veterinarians are Dr Ross Rich former owner ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow Systems Inc. (AFS), a ... out of Maple Ridge, British Columbia ... its existing portfolio of contract manufacturing clients by ... with its sister companies Surround Technologies (STI) and ... industrial group that specializes in providing contract manufacturing ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced ... Therapeutics at the annual ACA Summit last week in Philadelphia. , The ... ACA’s member angel groups. It is the highest honor available for an early-stage company ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: