S Grace Freed-Brown

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Keywords: brown-headed cowbird cowbird development mating success Molothrus ater social learning The social environment can act as an important selective force on both morphological and behavioural traits by conferring a reproductive advantage on individuals that successfully navigate social interactions. The ontogeny of these social traits is poorly(More)
Here we show that demands associated with brood parasitism have favored sophisticated cognitive abilities in female brown-headed cowbirds. We discovered that cowbirds can use the rate at which eggs are added to a nest across days to assess the readiness of the nest for incubation, which would allow them to synchronize laying with the host and avoid nests(More)
The purpose of this study was to investigate variation in female cowbird (Molothrus ater) sociality. We studied four captive flocks of brown-headed cowbirds, two composed of adult females and juvenile males and two composed of juvenile females and juvenile males. From September through December, we documented sociality using affiliation measures. From the(More)
We conducted a tutoring experiment to determine whether female brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) would attend to vocalizations of other females and use those cues to influence their own preferences for male courtship songs. We collected recordings of male songs that were unfamiliar to the subject females and paired half of the songs with female chatter(More)
Five variables were studied relating to the emergence of sociality in hand-reared cowbirds (Molothrus ater): proximity, sex assortment, reactions to adults, head-down displays, and vocalizations. The authors were especially interested in female sociality because adult female birds influence male courtship, song content, and use through proximity, attention,(More)
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