Outwitting deadbeat cuckoo finch parents

Back in March I posted about the parasitic nesting habits of cuckoos, which lay their eggs in other bird species’ nests.  Today comes scientific evidence of some bird species in Zambia which have evolved novel strategies to evict eggs left by cuckoos.

via EarthSky:

The cuckoo finch, a brood parasitic bird that lays her eggs in the nests of other birds, leaving them to raise her chicks, is out of luck when it comes to at least three potential hosts. The tawny-flanked prinia, red-faced cisticola, and rattling cisticola have evolved ways to outsmart her, either by laying a diverse variety of eggs that she cannot mimic or become more discriminating in identifying her eggs, or both. It’s a remarkable example of natural selection at work in the evolutionary competition for survival.

Corrected link to Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s