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:7/22/2014)... New Orleans, LA -- Nancy Buccola, MSN, APRN, ... LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of ... new locations of genetic material associated with schizophrenia ... immune system and schizophrenia. The study, Biological insights ... July 22, 2014 in Nature , available ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... child,s lunch box and you,re likely to find that the ... are the findings of a study conducted by researchers at ... University and in the Department of Public Health and Community ... are published online ahead of print in the Journal ... Led by senior author Jeanne Goldberg, Ph.D., R.D., a professor ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... of immune cell widely believed to exacerbate chronic ... multiple sclerosis (MS), can actually protect the brain ... the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, according to Cleveland ... Nature Communications . , The research team, ... Department of Neurosciences at Cleveland Clinic,s Lerner Research ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):LSUHSC contributes to work identifying new DNA regions associated with schizophrenia 2Room for improvement in elementary school children's lunches and snacks from home 2Cleveland Clinic researchers discover neuroprotective role of immune cell 2
(Date:7/22/2014)... phylum so full of mean little creatures, the yellow-colored Ormia ... -- at least to crickets. Native to the southeastern U.S. ... sort of parasite. It swoops onto the back of a ... its wicked brood to invade, kill and consume the cricket ... possible without the fly,s ability to find a cricket -- ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas, has ... Texas section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers ... 158 countries who develop engineering standards and training. They ... the world. , ASME recognized Baughn earlier this year ... Baughn retired as an engineering fellow in 2012 after ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... CTD Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:CTDH), a manufacturer and ... and other markets, announced today that it has closed ... private investors led by Novit L.P., an investment arm ... involved the signing of a Securities Purchase Agreement under ... at a price per share of $1.00, resulting in ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... 22, 2014 The DNA Spectrum ... concise visual representation of history, migration, and culture. ... regaled by family history stories stemming from Europe. His ... "old country." Pictures and 8mm home movies painted an ... the family, and Steve ordered a test from DNA ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Fly-inspired sound detector 2Fly-inspired sound detector 3Fly-inspired sound detector 4UT Dallas professor receives Engineer of the Year award 2CTD Holdings Closes $1.725 Million Private Placement 2CTD Holdings Closes $1.725 Million Private Placement 3DNA Test from DNA Spectrum Shows Heritage Like a Map of the Past 2DNA Test from DNA Spectrum Shows Heritage Like a Map of the Past 3DNA Test from DNA Spectrum Shows Heritage Like a Map of the Past 4
Cached News: