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Brood Parasitism of Eastern Kingbirds by Brown-Headed Cowbirds
  • Michael T. Murphy, Portland State University
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  • Bird populations -- United States,
  • Avian biology
Understanding why brood parasites lay eggs in the nests of hosts that reject eggs is hampered by insuf-ficient data on the frequency with which parasites lay in rejecter nests, and by ignorance of which in-dividuals practice this seemingly inappropriate be-havior. Parasitism rates of rejecters can be deter-mined only when host nests are observed during egg laying because most parasite eggs are rejected rapidly (e.g. Scott 1977). Even then, however, a certain per-centage of parasitized nests may go undetected. De-termining the selective value of host defense mech-anisms also depends on knowledge of the frequency of parasitism, and the amount of reproductive loss caused by parasitism when it occurs (Rothstein 1976a).

This is the publisher's final PDF. © 1986 by the Regents of the University of California. Published by the University of California Press.

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Murphy, M. T. (1986). Brood parasitism of eastern kingbirds by brown-headed cowbirds. The Auk, 626-628.