SEGURA Luciano Noel
Non-mimetic shiny cowbird nestlings escape discrimination by baywings in absence of host nestmates
ROJAS RIPARI, JUAN MANUEL; SEGURA, LUCIANO N.; REBOREDA, JUAN C.; DE MÁRSICO, MARÍA CECILIA
BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2019 vol. 73
Nestlings of obligate brood parasites must obtain resources from heterospecific hosts that are attuned to the solicitation behaviours of their own progeny. Failing to match the appropriate stimuli may result in suboptimal provisioning or even the starvation of parasite young. Parasitic nestlings could overcome it by sharing the nest with host young, as long as they are able to compete efficiently for parental feedings. Here we examined if non-mimetic shiny cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) nestlings reared alone fail to elicit sufficient parental care from the grayish baywing (Agelaioides badius), a host that discriminates between their own and parasitic nestlings based on speciesspecific begging cues. We manipulated baywing broods to assess the ability of shiny cowbird nestlings to elicit parental provisioning and survive without host nest mates. Host provisioning rates and survival did not differ between shiny cowbirds reared alone and host nestlings in singleton broods. Also, growth patterns of experimental nestlings reared alone were similar to those reported for shiny cowbirds reared alongside baywing young. Hence, we did not find support for the hypothesis that non-mimetic nestlings require the assistance of host nest mates to elicit sufficient parental care from its baywing host. Furthermore, we found that shiny cowbirds that were reared alone continued receiving care from baywings after fledging, unlike shiny cowbirds from mixed broods. Our results add evidence to the idea of opposing selective pressures on the evolution of nest mate acceptance in cowbirds, and suggest context-dependent host?s discrimination abilities that deserve further investigation.