The Effect of Magpie Breeding Density and Synchrony on Brood Parasitism by Great Spotted Cuckoos

J. G. Martinez, M. Soler, J. J. Soler
1996 The Condor  
Nesting density and synchrony by hosts may indirectly serve as a defense mechanism against brood parasites. Here we examine the relationships between spatial and temporal distribution of host nests and the probability of being parasitized. We use as host species the Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica), a species that is parasitized by the Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandark) in southern Europe. We also examined the differences in parasitism rate in nearby plots that differ in magpie social
more » ... magpie social organisation. Results show that increased proximity to other nests and specially laying synchrony both reduced the probability of being parasitized. Consequently, magpies breeding synchronously in dense plots may experience an indirect advantage against brood parasitism with respect to low density, low synchrony plots.
doi:10.2307/1369145 fatcat:ix6eqxm65zdozd66mwri7upuq4