Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Yellow-Headed Blackbird Nest Defense: Aggressive Responses to Marsh Wrens

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1986
Authors:Bump, SR
Journal:The Condor
Date Published:1986
ISBN Number:00105422
Keywords:Cistothorus, Cistothorus palustris, Emberizidae, Geothlypis, Geothlypis trichas, Icteridae, Melospiza, Melospiza melodia, Mohoua, Mohoua ochrocephala, Nannus troglodytes, Parulidae, Passerella, Passerella melodia, Telmatodytes, Telmatodytes palustris, Trichas, Troglodytes, Troglodytes troglodytes, Troglodytidae, Turdidae, Turdus, Turdus maximus, Turdus merula, Xanthocephalus, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia melodia
Abstract:Marsh Wrens (Cistothorus palustris) destroyed Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) eggs presented on wren territories and probably disrupted at least 10 of 189 yellowhead nesting attempts. Male yellowheads discriminated among Marsh Wren, Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia), and Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) songs, with the greatest proportion of aggressive approaches in response to broadcast Marsh Wren songs. The proportion of aggressive approaches by male yellowheads to Marsh Wren playbacks beside yellowhead nests was 27% and did not change with the stage of the nest; but the proportion of aggressive responses by females did vary, and was highest (53%) in response to playbacks beside nests containing eggs. Male responses are interpreted as reflecting territorial defense against Marsh Wrens, and female responses as a localized nest defense against egg predators.
Short Title:The Condor
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith