17 February 2019 Nest illumination and the evolution of egg rejection in hosts of brood parasites
Iliana Medina, Naomi E. Langmore
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Hosts of avian brood parasites, such as cuckoos, are duped into taking care of a foreign chick and this has led to the evolution of host defenses, such as egg rejection. However, many host species are not egg rejecters and it has been suggested that poor illumination inside closed nests may constrain the evolution of this defense. In this study, we experimentally increased the light inside the dome nests of Yellow-Rumped Thornbills, the main host of the Shining Bronze-Cuckoo. Our results show that rejection events did not increase significantly when nests were brighter, although there is a possibility that rejection mistakes could decrease. Moreover, we found that natural light levels inside dome nests were highly variable, and in many cases as high as those in cup-nesting species with high rejection rates. This evidence suggests that rapid changes in nest illumination do not alter rejection behavior.

Copyright © American Ornithological Society 2019. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model).
Iliana Medina and Naomi E. Langmore "Nest illumination and the evolution of egg rejection in hosts of brood parasites," The Auk 136(1), 1-6, (17 February 2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/auk/uky002
Received: 14 March 2018; Accepted: 26 November 2018; Published: 17 February 2019
brood parasitism
egg rejection
host defenses
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