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Responses of Five Host Species to Cowbird Parasitism

Donald S. Graham
The Condor
Vol. 90, No. 3 (Aug., 1988), pp. 588-591
DOI: 10.2307/1368347
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1368347
Page Count: 4
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Responses of Five Host Species to Cowbird Parasitism
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Abstract

Responses of the Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina), and Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) to Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were determined from nest records compiled at the Ontario Nest Record Scheme. Nest desertion was the principal mode of rejection of cowbird eggs. The Yellow Warbler also rejected parasite eggs by burying clutches under a second nest bottom. The probability of rejection did not vary during the breeding season or between multiply- and singly-parasitized pairs. Possible stimuli used by hosts to recognize parasitism are discussed.

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