Nest tubular entrance characteristics are not predictive of brood parasitism by Striped Cuckoos on Yellow-chinned Spinetails

Abstract

The interactions between parasitic birds and their host species can result in a wide range of adaptations. For cavity-nester hosts, for instance, nest entrances can reduce parasite access when the latter are larger than the host species, and for at least one group of birds, the weaverbirds, the construction of elongated tubular entrances was hypothesised to reduce interspecific brood parasitism. The function of tubular entrances as antiparasitic defences in closed-nester hosts, however, is one of the less investigated aspects of brood parasitism. Here, we tested the hypothesis that nest tubular entrance can reduce parasitism by the Striped Cuckoo, Tapera naevia, in a population of the closed-nester Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Certhiaxis cinnamomeus. We predicted that if the parasite uses a nest entrance to deposit its eggs, either by entering the nest through the tube or making an egg pass through the tube somehow, then nests with tubes that are longer, narrower, curved, and with low inclination would have lower parasitism probability. Modelling analyses, however, suggested this hypothesis should be rejected, as vegetation cover above nests was the only parameter marginally correlated to parasitism probability. As the parasite was too big to pass through the tubular entrance, and no tunnel enlargements that could evidence attempts to enter were observed, our findings were consistent with a model in which T. naevia may lay their eggs at the rim of the tube entrance, and eggs may roll down towards the incubatory chamber, despite tube length, width, and curvature. Parasitism could be facilitated by the downward inclination of most tubes, but it has to be confirmed by direct observations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Data availability

Data is available from the authors upon request.

References

  1. Alvares CA, Stape JL, Sentelhas PC, Gonçalves JLM, Sparovek G (2013) Köppen’s climate classification map for Brazil. Meteorol Z 22:711–728. https://doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0507

  2. Astie AA, Reboreda JC (2005) Creamy-bellied Thrush defences against Shiny Cowbird brood parasitism. Condor 107:788–796. https://doi.org/10.1650/7733.1

  3. Bodrati A, Salvador SA (2015) Curutié Blanco (Cranioleuca pyrrhophia), Pijuí Corona Rojiza (Synallaxis ruficapilla) y Picochato Grande (Tolmomyias sulphurescens): hospedadores de cría del Crespín (Tapera naevia). Nuestras Aves 60:15–18

    Google Scholar 

  4. Brittingham MC, Temple SA (1996) Vegetation around parasitized and non-parasitized nests within deciduous forest. J Field Ornithol 67:406–413

    Google Scholar 

  5. Burhans DE (1997) Habitat and microhabitat features associated with Cowbird parasitism in two forest edge Cowbird hosts. Condor 99:866–872. https://doi.org/10.2307/1370136

  6. Clotfelter ED (1998) What cues do Brown-headed Cowbirds use to locate Red-winged Blackbird host nests? Anim Behav 55:1181–1189. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.1997.0638

  7. Collias NE, Victoria JK (1978) Nest and mate selection in the Village Weaverbird (Ploceus cucullatus). Anim Behav 26:470–479. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-3472(78)90064-7

  8. R Core Team (2017) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. https://www.R-projectorg/. Accessed 30 Oct 2018

  9. Crook JH (1963) A comparative analysis of nest structure in the weaver birds (Ploceinae). Ibis 105:238–262. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1963.tb02498.x

  10. Davies NB (2000) Cuckoos, cowbirds and other cheats. T & AD Poyser Ltd., London

    Google Scholar 

  11. Davies NB (2011) Cuckoo adaptations: trickery and tuning. J Zool, Lond 284:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00810.x

  12. de la Peña MR (2006) Biología reproductiva del Crespín Tapera naevia en la Reserva de la Escuela Granja [UNL], Esperanza, Santa Fe, Argentina. Rev FAVE 5:1–2

    Google Scholar 

  13. de la Peña MR, Salvador S (2016) Aves argentinas: descripción, comportamiento, reproducción y distribución. Trogonidae a Furnariidae, Museo Provincial de Ciencias Naturales Florentino Ameghino, Santa Fé

    Google Scholar 

  14. Di Giacomo AG (2005) Aves de la reserva El Bagual. In: Di Giacomo AG, Krapovickas SF (eds). Temas de Naturaleza y Conservación n°. 4. Asociación Ornitológica del Plata, Buenos Aires

  15. Feeney WE, Welbergen JA, Langmore NE (2012) The frontline of avian brood parasite–host coevolution. Anim Behav 84:3–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.04.011

  16. Fiorini VD, Tuero DT, Reboreda JC (2012) Dense canopy cover over House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) nests increases latency of brood parasitism by Shiny Cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis). Emu 112:55–59. https://doi.org/10.1071/MU11038

  17. Fiorini VD, De Mársico MC, Ursino CA, Reboreda JC (2019) Obligate brood parasitism on Neotropical birds. In: Reboreda JC, Fiorini VD, Tuero DT (eds) Behavioral ecology of Neotropical birds. Springer Nature, Zurich

  18. Freeman S (1988) Egg variability and conspecific nest parasitism in the Ploceus weaverbirds. Ostrich 59:49–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/00306525.1988.9633694

  19. Friedmann DH (1993) A contribution to the life history of the Crespín or Four-winged Cuckoo, Tapera naevia. Ibis 75:532–539. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1933.tb03342.x

  20. Grieef PM, Sealy SG (2000) Simulated host activity does not attract parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Bird Behav 13:69–78

  21. Haverschmidt F (1955) Beobachtungenan Tapera naevia und ihrenWirtsvögeln in Surinam. J Ornithol 96:337–343. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01968599

  22. Haverschmidt F (1961) Der Kuckuck Tapera naevia und seine Wirte in Surinam. J Ornithol 102:353–359. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01671662

  23. Honza M, Taborsky B, Taborsky M, Teuschl Y, Vogl W, Moksnes A, Røskaft E (2002) Behaviour of female Common Cuckoos, Cuculus canorus, in the vicinity of host nests before and during egg laying: a radiotelemetry study. Anim Behav 64:861–868. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2002.1969

  24. Jacobs CH, Collias NE, Fujimoto JT (1978) Nest colour as a factor in nest selection by female Village Weaverbirds. Anim Behav 26:463–469. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-3472(78)90063-5

  25. King JR (1973) The annual cycle of the Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) in three biotopes in northwestern Argentina. J Zool, Lond 170:163–188. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1973.tb01373.x

  26. Larison B, Laymon SA, Williams PL, Smith TB (1998) Song Sparrows vs. Cowbird brood parasites: impacts of forest structure and nest-site selection. Condor 100:93–101. https://doi.org/10.2307/1369900

  27. Lowther PE (2020) Host list of avian brood parasites 3 - Cuculiformes; Neomorphidae. https://www.fieldmuseumorg. Accessed 20 Feb 2020

  28. Mark MM (2013) Host specific parasitism in the Central American Striped Cuckoo, Tapera naevia. J Avian Biol 44:445–450. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-048X.2013.00100.x

  29. Mark MM, Rubenstein DR (2013) Physiological costs and carry-over effects of avian interspecific brood parasitism influence reproductive tradeoffs. Horm Behav 63:717–722. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.03.008

  30. Martin TE, Roper JJ (1988) Nest predation and nest-site selection of a Western population of the Hermit Thrush. Condor 90:51–57. https://doi.org/10.2307/1368432

  31. Mclaren CM, Sealy SG (2003) Factors influencing susceptibility of host nests to brood parasitism. Ethol Ecol Evol 15:343–353. https://doi.org/10.1080/08927014.2003.9522661

  32. Mezquida ET (2004) Nest site selection and nesting success of five species of passerines in a South American open Prosopis woodland. J Ornithol 145:16–22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-003-0002-9

  33. Morton ES, Farabaugh SM (1979) Infanticide and other adaptions of the nestling Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia. Ibis 121:212–213. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1979.tb04965.x

  34. Moskát C, Honza M (2000) Effect of nest and nest site characteristics on the risk of Cuckoo Cuculus canorus parasitism in the Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus. Ecography 23:335–341. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2000.tb00289.x

  35. Payne RB (1977) The ecology of brood parasitism in birds. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 8:1–28 https://www.jstor.org/stable/2096719

  36. Payne RB (2005) The cuckoos. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  37. Payne R, Kirwan GM (2019) Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani). In: del Hoyo J, Elliott A, Sargatal J, Christie DA, de Juana E (eds) Handbook of the birds of the world alive. Lynx editions, Barcelona. https://www.hbw.com/node/54907 accessed 20 February 2020

  38. Pribil S, Picman J (1997) Parasitism of House Wren nests by Brown-headed Cowbirds: why is it so rare? Can J Zool 75:302–307. https://doi.org/10.1139/z97-038

  39. Remsen-Jr. JV, de Juana E (2019) Yellow-chinned Spinetail (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus). In: del Hoyo J, Elliott A, Sargatal J, Christie DA, de Juana E (eds) Handbook of the birds of the world alive. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. https://www.hbw.com/node/56482. Accessed 20 Feb 2020

  40. Ridgely RS, Tudor G (1994) The birds of South America. Vol II. The suboscine passerines. University of Texas Press, Austin

  41. Rothstein SI (1990) A model system for coevolution: avian brood parasitism. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 21:481–508. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.es.21.110190.002405

  42. Rutila J, Latja R, Koskela K (2002) The Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus and its cavity nesting host, the Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus: a peculiar cuckoo host system? J Avian Biol 33:414–419. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-048X.2002.02937.x

  43. Salvador SA (1982) Estudio de parasitismo del Crespín Tapera naevia chochi (Vieillot) (Aves: Cuculidae). Historia Natural 2:65–70

    Google Scholar 

  44. Saunders CA, Arcese P, O'Connor KD (2003) Nest site characteristics in the Song Sparrow and parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds. Wilson Bull 115:24–28. https://doi.org/10.1676/02-057

  45. Sharp BL, Kus BE (2006) Factors influencing the incidence of Cowbird parasitism of least Bell’s Vireos. J Wildl Manag 70:682–690. https://doi.org/10.2193/0022-541X(2006)70[682:FITIOC]2.0.CO;2

  46. Sick H (1997) Ornitologia brasileira. Editora Nova Fronteira, Rio de Janeiro

    Google Scholar 

  47. Soler JJ, Soler M (2000) Brood-parasite interactions between Great Spotted Cuckoos and Magpies: a model system for studying coevolutionary relationships. Oecologia 125:309–320. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004420000487

  48. Soler JJ, Soler M, Pérez-Contreras T, Aragón S, Møller AP (1999) Antagonistic antiparasite defenses: nest defense and egg rejection in the Magpie host of the Great Spotted Cuckoo. Behav Ecol 10:707–713. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/10.6.707

  49. Spottiswoode CN, Koorevaar J (2011) A stab in the dark: chick killing by brood parasitic Honeyguides. Biol Lett 8:241–244. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.0739

  50. Thomson RL, Tolvanen J, Forsman JT (2016) Cuckoo parasitism in a cavity nesting host: near absent egg-rejection in a northern redstart population under heavy apparent (but low effective) brood parasitism. J Avian Biol 47:363–370. https://doi.org/10.1111/jav.00915

  51. Wiley JW (1988) Host selection by the Shiny Cowbird. Condor 90:289–303. https://doi.org/10.2307/1368557

Download references

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to João Murcia and Diogo Miguel for field assistance, James Winter for logistical support, and the company owning the study area for authorizing our access to the marshlands (RADAR/Nova Amaralina S.A. Propriedades Agrícolas). We are also especially grateful to two anonymous referees that provided valuable suggestions on the previous version of this manuscript.

Funding

AM received a fellowship from Fundação Parque Zoológico de São Paulo, and MCC and CABM received fellowships from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). MRF Received a Productivity Research Fellowship (CNPq - Proc# 308702/2019-0).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

AM and MRF conceived the study design; AM, MCC, CABM, and MRF carried out data collection; AM and MRF analysed the data and wrote the first version of the paper; AM, MCC, CABM, and MRF contributed with the elaboration of the final version of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mercival R. Francisco.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors have no competing interests.

Ethics approval

Fieldwork procedures were in compliance with the Brazilian legislation. Bird capture, marking, and nest checking were approved by the Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, SISBIO/ICMBio (permit #60880-1), and by the Ethical Committee for the Use of Animals (CEUA: permit # 8369111217) from Universidade Federal de São Carlos, UFSCar. Fieldwork at the private property was authorized by the company owning the farm (RADAR/Nova Amaralina S.A. Propriedades Agrícolas).

Consent to participate

All of the authors have approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to participate in this publication.

Consent for publication

All of the authors have agreed with the publication of this manuscript in Ornithology Research.

Code availability

Not applicable

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Communicated by Lilian Manica

Supplementary information

ESM 1

(DOC 54 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Murcia, A., Costa, M.C., Medolago, C.A.B. et al. Nest tubular entrance characteristics are not predictive of brood parasitism by Striped Cuckoos on Yellow-chinned Spinetails. Ornithol. Res. 28, 221–228 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43388-021-00037-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Certhiaxis cinnamomeus
  • Nest polymorphism
  • Nest tube
  • Tapera naevia