Brood parasites and predators pose different threats to passerines that may favour the evolution of enemy-specific defence strategies. Furthermore, potential sex-specific variation in parental investment may be manifested in differences between male and female nest defence behaviour. We investigated these hypotheses in Oriental reed warblers (Acrocephalus orientalis), by recording sex- and stage-specific (nests with eggs or nestlings) responses to stuffed dummies placed at their nests. Warblers showed the highest level of aggression to the co-occurring parasite, the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), colour morph (grey), but showed reluctance to mob or attack the co-occurring nest predator, the magpie (Pica pica). There was a sex difference in rate of body attacks towards rufous morph common cuckoo, sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (locally absent parasite and predator, respectively) and the spotted dove (Streptopelia chinensis) (locally present, harmless species), with females showing better ability to distinguish between these species than males.
The multidimensionality of behavioral defenses against brood parasites: evidence for a behavioural syndrome in magpies? —
Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.68:
Family Columbidae (pigeons and doves). — In:
Handbook of the birds of the world,
Vol. 4: Sandgrouse to cuckoos (
del HoyoJ.ElliottA.SargatalJ., eds). Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, p.
Responses of great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus to experimental brood parasitism: the effects of a cuckoo Cuculus canorus dummy and egg mimicry. —
J. Avian Biol.33:
Host behaviour and nest-site characteristics affect the likelihood of brood parasitism by shiny cowbirds on chalk-browed mockingbirds. —
Functional reference in an alarm signal given during nest defence: seet calls of yellow warblers denote brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbirds. —
Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.56:
Host nest defense against a color-dimorphic brood parasite: great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) versus common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus). —
Patterns of waterbird community composition across a natural and restored wetland landscape mosaic, Yellow River Delta, China. —
Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci.91: