Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Female Blackcap Adoption of a Yellowhammer Clutch

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2000
Authors:Čapek, Jr., M, Honza, M, Mrlík, V
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:2000
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Citrinella, Emberiza, Emberiza citrinella, Emberizidae, Sylvia, Sylvia atricapilla, Sylviidae
Abstract:Four eggs in a Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) nest were incubated for one day by a female Yellowhammer but subsequently abandoned. The day following abandonment, the nest and the clutch were adopted by a female Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) who incubated the eggs until a single Yellowhammer nestling hatched; two eggs were depredated, and the embryo in the third egg was dead but well-developed. The young Yellowhammer was fed for 6 days until it was taken by a predator. Because there were no obvious benefits for the adopting female Blackcap, we speculate that the adoption resulted from misdirected parental behavior.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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