Feeney and Langmore on Campbell Park research on wrens and cuckoos

To: "Canberra Birds " <>
Subject: Feeney and Langmore on Campbell Park research on wrens and cuckoos
From: Robin Hide <>
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2015 21:33:01 +0000

This new paper reporting Campbell Park research may be of interest to some list members-


Feeney, William. E. and Naomi E. Langmore (2015). “Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) increase vigilance near their nest with the perceived risk of brood parasitism.” The Auk 132(2): 359-364.

Abstract: Brood parasites typically impose costs on their hosts, which select for host defenses. However, where defenses are costly, hosts can benefit by facultative _expression_ of defenses in relation to the risk of parasitism. The results of our model-presentation experiments show that Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) mediate vigilance around their nest according to their perceived risk of brood parasitism; when the risk of parasitism is high, they increase the time they spend in the vicinity of their nests. In combination with previous studies, these data suggest that Superb Fairy-wrens have a plastic defense portfolio that can be acquired rapidly and deployed facultatively to prevent parasitism while minimizing wasteful investment in defenses in the absence of parasitism.


William E. Feeney1,2* and Naomi E. Langmore1

1Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

2Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom


*Corresponding author:


Robin Hide


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