Volume 40 Issue 5
Sep.  2019
Turn off MathJax
Article Contents
Chang-Zhang Feng, Can-Chao Yang, Wei Liang. Nest sanitation facilitates egg recognition in the common tailorbird, a plaintive cuckoo host. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(5): 466-470. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.054
Citation: Chang-Zhang Feng, Can-Chao Yang, Wei Liang. Nest sanitation facilitates egg recognition in the common tailorbird, a plaintive cuckoo host. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(5): 466-470. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.054

Nest sanitation facilitates egg recognition in the common tailorbird, a plaintive cuckoo host

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.054
Funds:  the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31672303 to C.C.Y.)
More Information
  • Corresponding author: Wei Liang
  • Received Date: 2019-04-28
  • Publish Date: 2019-09-18
  • Nest sanitation is a ubiquitous behavior in birds and functions to remove foreign objects that accidentally have fallen into their nests. In avian brood parasitism, the host’s ability to recognize and reject parasitic eggs is a specific anti-parasitic behavior. Previous studies have shown that egg recognition may have evolved from nest sanitation behavior; however, few studies have offered evidence in support of this hypothesis. In the current study, we added one real white egg and one model egg to the nests of common tailorbirds (Orthotomus sutorius), the main host of plaintive cuckoos (Cacomantis merulinus), to explore the relationship between egg recognition ability in hosts and nest sanitation behavior. Results showed that common tailorbirds rejected both non-mimetic blue model eggs and mimetic white model eggs at a similar rate of 100%, but only rejected 16.1% of mimetic real white eggs. The egg rejection behavior of common tailorbirds towards both real and model eggs was consistent. However, when both blue model eggs and real white eggs were simultaneously added to their nests, the probability of rejecting the mimetic real white egg increased to 50%. The addition of blue model eggs not only increased the occurrence of nest sanitation behavior but also increased the ability to recognize and reject parasitic eggs. This suggests that nest sanitation may facilitate egg rejection in common tailorbird hosts.
  • loading
  • [1]
    null Davies NB , MdeL Brooke . 1988. Cuckoos versus reed warblers: Adaptations and counteradaptations. Animal Behaviour, 36(1): 262–284.
    null Davies NB , MdeL Brooke . 1989. An experimental study of co-evolution between the cuckoo, Cuculus canorus, and its hosts. I. Host egg discrimination. Journal of Animal Ecology, 58(1): 207–224.
    null Gloag R , Beekman M . 2019. The brood parasite’s guide to inclusive fitness theory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 374(1769): 20180198.
    null Guigueno MF , Sealy SG . 2009. Nest sanitation plays a role in egg burial by yellow warblers. Ethology, 115(3): 247–256.
    null Guigueno MF , Sealy SG . 2012. Nest sanitation in passerine birds: Implications for egg rejection in hosts of brood parasites. Journal of Ornithology, 153(1): 35–52.
    null Guigueno MF , Sealy SG . 2017. Implications of nest sanitation in the evolution of egg rejection. In: Soler M.Avian Brood Parasitism: Behaviour, Ecology, Evolution and Coevolution. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG, 385–399.
    null Ibá?ez-álamo JD , Rubio E , Soler JJ . 2017. Evolution of nestling faeces removal in avian phylogeny. Animal Behaviour, 124(1): 1–5.
    null Kemal RE , Rothstein SI . 1988. Mechanisms of avian egg recognition: Adaptive responses to eggs with broken shells. Animal Behaviour, 36(1): 175–183.
    null Liang W , Yang C , Wang L , M?ller AP . 2013. Avoiding parasitism by breeding indoors: cuckoo parasitism of hirundines and rejection of eggs. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 67(6): 913–918.
    null Luro AB , Hauber ME . 2017. A test of the nest sanitation hypothesis for the evolution of foreign egg rejection in an avian brood parasite rejecter host species. The Science of Nature, 104(3–4): 14.
    null Luro AB , Igic B , Croston R , López AV , Shawkey MD , Hauber ME . 2018. Which egg features predict egg rejection responses in American robins? Replicating Rothstein's (1982) study. Ecology and Evolution, 8(3): 1673–1679.
    null Mcmaster DG , Sealy SG . 1997. Red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) accept prematurely hatching brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Bird Behavior, 12(3–4): 67–70.
    null Mermoz ME , Haupt C , Fernández GJ . 2016. Brown-and-yellow marshbirds reduce their acceptance threshold of mimetic brood parasite eggs in the presence of non-mimetic eggs. Journal of Ethology, 34(1): 65–71.
    null Moskát C , Székely T , Kisbenedek T , Karcza Z , Bártol I . 2003. The importance of nest cleaning in egg rejection behaviour of great reed warblers Acrocephalus arandinaceas . Journal of Avian Biology, 34(1): 16–19.
    null Nahid MI, Foss?y F , Begum S , R?skaft E , Stokke BG . 2016. First record of common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) parasitism by plaintive cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) in Bangladesh. Avian Research, 7: 14.
    null Payne RB . 1977. The ecology of brood parasitism in birds. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 8(1): 1–28.
    null Payne RB . 2005. The Cuckoos. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    null Peer BD . 2017. Nest sanitation does not elicit egg ejection in a brown-headed cowbird host. Animal Cognition, 20(2): 371–374.
    null Peer BD , Ellison KS , Sealy SG . 2002. Intermediate frequencies of egg ejection by northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos) sympatric with two cowbird species. The Auk, 119(3): 855–858.
    null Pola?iková L , Grim T . 2010. Blunt egg pole holds cues for alien egg discrimination: Experimental evidence. Journal of Avian Biology, 41(2): 111–116.
    null Rohwer S , Spaw CD . 1988. Evolutionary lag versus bill-size constraints: A comparative study of the acceptance of cowbird eggs by old hosts. Evolutionary Ecology, 2(1): 27–36.
    null R?skaft E , Korsnes L , Pedersen HC , Moksnes A , Braa AT , Lampe HM . 1991. Behavioural responses of potential hosts towards artificial cuckoo eggs and dummies. Behaviour, 116(1–2): 64–89.
    null Rothstein SI . 1975a. An experimental and teleonomic investigation of avian brood parasitism. Condor, 77(3): 250–271.
    null Rothstein SI . 1975b. Mechanisms of avian egg-recognition: Do birds know their own eggs?. Animal Behaviour, 23(5): 269–278.
    null Rothstein SI . 1982. Mechanisms of avian egg recognition: Which egg parameters elicit responses by rejecter species?. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 11(4): 229–239.
    null Su T , Yang C , Chen S , Liang W . 2018. Does nest sanitation elicit egg rejection in an open-cup nesting cuckoo host rejecter?. Avian Research, 9: 27.
    null Tunheim OH , Stokke BG , Wang L , Yang C , Jiang A , Liang W , R?skaft E , Foss?y F . 2019. Development and behavior of plaintive cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) nestlings and their common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) hosts. Avian Research, 10: 5.
    null Yang C , Chen M , Wang L , Liang W , M?ller AP . 2015a. Nest sanitation elicits egg discrimination in cuckoo hosts. Animal Cognition, 18(6): 1373–1377.
    null Yang C , Huang Q , Wang L , Jiang A , Stokke BG , Foss?y F , Tunheim OH , R?skaft E , Liang W , M?ller AP . 2016. Plaintive cuckoos do not select tailorbird hosts that match the phenotypes of their own eggs. Behavioral Ecology, 27(3): 835–841.
    null Yang C , Liang W , Antonov A , Cai Y , Stokke BG , Foss?y F , Moksnes A , R?skaft E . 2012. Diversity of parasitic cuckoos and their hosts in China. Chinese Birds, 3(1): 9–32.
    null Yang C , Wang L , Liang W , M?ller AP . 2015b. Nest sanitation behavior in hirundines as a pre-adaptation to egg rejection to counter brood parasitism. Animal Cognition, 18(1): 355–360.
    null Yang CC , Wang LW , Liang W , M?ller Anders . 2019. High egg rejection rate in a Chinese population of grey-backed thrush (Turdus hortulorum). Zoological Research, 40(3): 226-230.
    null Zhou F , Jiang A . 2008. A new species of babbler (Timaliidae: Stachyris) from the Sino-Vietnamese border region of China. The Auk, 125(2): 420–424.
  • 加载中


    通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
    • 1. 

      沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

    1. 本站搜索
    2. 百度学术搜索
    3. 万方数据库搜索
    4. CNKI搜索

    Article Metrics

    Article views (780) PDF downloads(176) Cited by()
    Proportional views


    DownLoad:  Full-Size Img  PowerPoint