Brood parasitism selects for defensive mechanisms that enhance host fitness. Therefore, host populations under different parasitism pressures may express different levels of defense against brood parasites. We tested the rejection responses of currently parasitized and unparasitized Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) populations in Finland to artificial Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) eggs. We predicted a higher level of defense in the parasitized population, but in fact the rejection rate was higher in the nonparasitized population. Nonmimetic artificial eggs were rejected more often than mimetic ones. Desertion probability was higher in the nonparasitized population and was independent of artificial egg type. Common Redstarts in the parasitized population rejected the artificial eggs mostly through ejection, whereas desertion was a more frequent rejection method in the nonparasitized population. Our results suggest that current selection pressures from brood parasites do not always explain the current levels of defense.
Respuestas de Poblaciones Parasitadas y No Parasitadas de Phoenicurus phoenicurus Contra el Parasitismo Artificial de Cuculus canorus