AZ Bird Network

Full Version: Alaska bird not ready for brood parasite cuckoos
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Heard about this on Science Friday radio program this morning. 

Russian cuckoos are taking over Alaska
Thanks to climate change, these crybaby parasites are heading to North America.
By Kat Eschner May 7, 2018

" ... University of Illinois ornithologist Mark Hauber .... and his multi-university team of colleagues placed more than 100 3-D printed cuckoo eggs in the nests of birds in Siberia and in Alaska. In Siberia, although the sites were all outside the usual cuckoo nesting range, 14 of the 22 eggs were rejected, suggesting in the words of the study that “Siberian birds had strong anti-parasite responses.” In Alaska, however, only one among the 96 eggs planted was rejected, by a Red-throated pipit. The other test subjects accepted their eggs, not seeming to mind that it differed from their own in color and size. ..."
One has to imagine this is a war that has played out before. It is always a case of diminishing returns for brood parasites - being the Mafia of the avian world, the more successful they are, the less hosts they have to prey on.

Beyond that, since they obviously can't get parental guidance, Eurasian cuckoos must have their migration routes "baked in", so I wonder what happens as their range extends further east and south.