Begging Versus Aggression in Avian Broodmate Competition

  title={Begging Versus Aggression in Avian Broodmate Competition},
  author={Hugh Drummond},
The begging of broodmates that use aggression to compete for food has seldom been studied. Generally, subordinate broodmates beg as frequently as dominants, but receive less food. Overall relative begging frequencies of broodmates may influence parental food distributions, but these frequencies are not the main factor governing distributions. Rather, observations of boobies and diverse species suggest that aggression limits the effectiveness of begging by subordinate young by confining its… 
It is suggested that indirect feeding, long nestling periods, and small broods, possibly in combination with other factors, have tended to favor the evolution of aggressive broodmate competition.
Broodmate aggression and life history variation in accipitrid birds of prey
It is shown that intensity of aggression increases in species with lower parental effort (small clutch size and low provisioning rates), while size effects (adult body mass and length of nestling period) are unimportant.
Is broodmate aggression really associated with direct feeding
Neither the assumption nor either of the predictions of the FMH was supported and, if anything, senior broodmates were more aggressive early in the nestling period when feeding was indirect, casting doubt on the ultimate influence of feeding method on use of aggression and, especially, on the role of direct feeding as a proximate trigger for aggression.
Food limitation increases aggression in juvenile meerkats
It is shown that the frequency of aggression between littermates increased when rainfall and helper number, both predictors of the amount of food available to pups, were low, which suggests that food availability is an important factor affecting the severity of aggressive competition between offspring, even in the absence of lethal aggressive attacks.
Unequal food distribution among great egret Ardea alba nestlings: parental choice or sibling aggression?
Comparisons of how fathers and mothers allocated food among their offspring when chicks were free to fight versus when they were physically separated by a Plexiglas barrier provide the first experimental evidence of differential feeding by parents in a species with aggressive nestlings.
Kind to kin: weak interference competition among white stork Ciconia ciconia broodmates
The high degree of tolerance shown by senior nestlings is unusual among birds with similar ecological and phylogenetic affinities, such as herons, and cannot be easily explained by absence of parental favouritism or proximate factors known to affect the occurrence of sibling aggression in other species.
Sibling aggression and brood reduction: a review
It is concluded that more aspects must be considered in the design of future studies in order to understand the potential evolutionary sense of aggressive behaviour among siblings, especially those concerning food allocation decisions by parents.
Testosterone increases siblicidal aggression in black-legged kittiwake chicks (Rissa tridactyla)
Testosterone production in the kittiwake and most likely other siblicidal species seems an important fitness mediator already early in life, outside the sexual context and not only manifesting itself in aggressive behavior but also in dominance-mediated effects on food solicitation displays toward parents.
Sibling rivalry in black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla)
It seems that eliminating within brood asymmetries is costly for the parents and perhaps these differences are optimal for maintaining a high efficiency index for theParents in terms of the amount of investment and the number of fledged chicks.


The Role of Brood Size in Regulating Egret Sibling Aggression
It is proposed that species probably do best by relying on current food amount for the truncation of sibling fighting whenever that cue allows an accurate assessment of pending competition, with brood size used mainly as an alternative or backup system.
Effects of short-term hunger and competitive asymmetry on facultative aggression in nestling black guillemots Cepphus grylle
The results provide the first evidence that short-term food shortage per se acts as an initial trigger for aggression and also show that the aggressive response is complicated by factors associated with hatching and laying order.
A revaluation of the role of food in broodmate aggression
There is no convincing evidence that the prey size hypothesis can explain variation among species or during development, and studies showing that heron chicks are more aggressive when prey are small are inconclusive because they did not exclude food deprivation as an alternative explanation.
Role of Sibling Aggression in Food Distribution to Nestling Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus Ibis)
The results are consistent with the hypothesis that monopolizable food can act as both a proximate and ultimate cause of sibling aggression and facilitate adaptive brood reduction in Cattle Egret siblings.
Food shortage influences sibling aggression in the blue-footed booby
Siblicidal Brood Reduction: The Prey-Size Hypothesis
  • D. Mock
  • Biology
    The American Naturalist
  • 1985
In a comparison of two species of herons in a Texas colony, great egret nestlings fought 18 times more often than adjacent great blue herons during the first month, and a general hypothesis is advanced, linking adaptive siblicidal aggression to delivered food size (specifically, monopolizability).
The control and function of agonism in avian broodmates
In many avian species, brood reduction is considered to be adaptive and may be attributed either to sibling competition (passive starvation, active sibling aggression) or parental effects