Egg recognition and counting reduce costs of avian conspecific brood parasitism

@article{Lyon2003EggRA,
  title={Egg recognition and counting reduce costs of avian conspecific brood parasitism},
  author={B. Lyon},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2003},
  volume={422},
  pages={495-499}
}
Birds parasitized by interspecific brood parasites often adopt defences based on egg recognition but such behaviours are puzzlingly rare in species parasitized by members of the same species. Here I show that conspecific egg recognition is frequent, accurate and used in three defences that reduce the high costs of conspecific brood parasitism in American coots. Hosts recognized and rejected many parasitic eggs, reducing the fitness costs of parasitism by half. Recognition without rejection also… CONTINUE READING
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