Study

Mate choice and imprinting in birds studied by cross-fostering in the wild

  • Published source details Slagsvold T., Hansen B.T., Johannessen L.E. & Lifield J.T. (2002) Mate choice and imprinting in birds studied by cross-fostering in the wild. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 269, 1449-1455.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Foster eggs or chicks of songbirds with wild non-conspecifics (cross-fostering)

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Foster eggs or chicks of songbirds with wild non-conspecifics (cross-fostering)

    A replicated and controlled study in woodlands in southern Norway in 1998-2000 (Slagsvold et al. 2002) found that cross-fostering did not affect the recruitment of great tits Parus major (12% of birds raised by blue tits P. caeruleus observed the following year, n = 155 chicks vs. 13% of control birds, n = 196) or pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca (4% recruitment for birds raised by great or blue tits, n = 573 vs. 6% for control birds, n = 935). However, blue tits raised by coal tits P. ater had higher recruitment than controls, or those raised by great tits (18% recruitment for birds raised by coal tits, n = 38 chicks vs. 10% for birds raised by great tits, n = 242 and 7% for control birds, n = 175). Cross-fostering reduced pairing success in great tits (27% pairing success for cross-fostered chicks, n = 11 vs. 95% for controls, n = 20) but not in blue tits (100% pairing success for both cross-fostered and control chicks, n = 17 and 11 respectively) or flycatchers (95% pairing success for cross-fostered chicks, n = 19 vs. 95% for controls, n = 39). All fostering occurred during incubation, with eggs moved between nests before they hatched.

     

Output references

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