Maraud/Guard Instinct Among Bowerbirds

To: <>
Subject: Maraud/Guard Instinct Among Bowerbirds
From: "Harry Clarke" <>
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2001 06:54:08 +1000
Bowerbirds are used in evolutionary biology as examples of how cooperation
can break down among individuals to the detriment of all -- the 'Prisoner's
Dilemma'. Male bowerbirds, it is claimed, not only build bowers to attract
females but also engage in search-and-destroy missions to ruin other bowers.
If they all do this all males are worse-off but if none 'maraud' then an
individual will attract more females if it alone marauds and destroys the
competition. Observed populations of genetically-programmed bowerbirds  are
therefore likely to maraud.

On making a modest check of the literature (which I don't know at all) I
couldn't find details of evidence on bower marauding.  I found reference to
one paper by L. Conick (couldn't track it down) and there is mention of
bower-destruction in a paper by G. Borgia that I have seen.

Has anyone out there come across references to evidence on bowerbirds and
marauding?  Or on other bird species doing similar things? Please let me
know if you do.


Harry Clarke.

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