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Biol Lett ; 17(9): 20210377, 2021 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34520683


Yellow warblers (Setophaga petechia) use referential 'seet' calls to warn mates of brood parasitic brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). In response to seet calls during the day, female warblers swiftly move to sit tightly on their nests, which may prevent parasitism by physically blocking female cowbirds from inspecting and laying in the nest. However, cowbirds lay their eggs just prior to sunrise, not during daytime. We experimentally tested whether female warblers, warned by seet calls on one day, extend their anti-parasitic responses into the future by engaging in vigilance at sunrise on the next day, when parasitism may occur. As predicted, daytime seet call playbacks caused female warblers to leave their nests less often on the following morning, relative to playbacks of both their generic anti-predator calls and silent controls. Thus, referential calls do not only convey the identity or the type of threat at present but also elicit vigilance in the future to provide protection from threats during periods of heightened vulnerability.

Parasitos , Passeriformes , Aves Canoras , Animais , Feminino , Comportamento de Nidação
Biol Lett ; 15(7): 20190351, 2019 07 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31337293


Brain lateralization, or the specialization of function in the left versus right brain hemispheres, has been found in a variety of lineages in contexts ranging from foraging to social and sexual behaviours, including the recognition of conspecific social partners. Here we studied whether the recognition and rejection of avian brood parasitic eggs, another context for species recognition, may also involve lateralized visual processing. We focused on American robins (Turdus migratorius), an egg-rejecter host to occasional brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) and tested if robins preferentially used one visual hemifield over the other to inspect mimetic versus non-mimetic model eggs. At the population level, robins showed a significantly lateralized absolute eyedness index (EI) when viewing mimetic model eggs, but individuals varied in left versus right visual hemifield preference. By contrast, absolute EI was significantly lower when viewing non-mimetic eggs. We also found that robins with more lateralized eye usage rejected model eggs at higher rates. We suggest that the inspection and recognition of foreign eggs represent a specialized and lateralized context of species recognition in this and perhaps in other egg-rejecter hosts of brood parasites.

Passeriformes , Aves Canoras , Animais , Ovos , Humanos , Comportamento de Nidação , Óvulo