Re: [cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

2011-06-27 Thread Geo Kloppel
Marilyn only caught the tail end of the radio spot, and didn't get  
the names of any experts. But here's an article that discusses the  
origins of brood parasitism:


http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/2/196.full.pdf

For each of a number of avian lineages in which obligate interspecies  
brood parasitism has independently evolved, the authors examined the  
probability that it evolved directly from the normal breeding mode  
(through such routes as the takeover or use of nests built by other  
species, or communal laying by cooperative species), versus  
indirectly by way of transitional intraspecies nest parasitism.





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[cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

2011-06-26 Thread Marilyn Ray

Hello Birders,

The other day I got into my car just as a show about birds was ending on 
the car radio.  I did not get to hear the name of the expert who was 
telling the audience about why cowbirds started leaving their eggs in 
the nests of other birds to hatch and raise their young.  The expert 
said that the practice had its origins in the middle part of the country 
when cowbirds had traditionally followed the roaming buffalo herds and 
did not have time to lay and hatch their own eggs before the herd moved 
on and they had to follow.


Could someone please tell me if this story is true?  If so, what was the 
food the birds got from following the buffalo that they could not get 
elsewhere?


Thanks,
Marilyn Ray

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

2011-06-26 Thread Geo Kloppel

Hi Marilyn,

This article from the Smithsonian National Zoo covers your question:

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/scbi/migratorybirds/fact_sheets/default.cfm? 
fxsht=3


-Geo

On Jun 26, 2011, at 9:06 AM, Marilyn Ray wrote:


Hello Birders,

The other day I got into my car just as a show about birds was  
ending on the car radio.  I did not get to hear the name of the  
expert who was telling the audience about why cowbirds started  
leaving their eggs in the nests of other birds to hatch and raise  
their young.  The expert said that the practice had its origins  
in the middle part of the country when cowbirds had traditionally  
followed the roaming buffalo herds and did not have time to lay and  
hatch their own eggs before the herd moved on and they had to follow.


Could someone please tell me if this story is true?  If so, what  
was the food the birds got from following the buffalo that they  
could not get elsewhere?


Thanks,
Marilyn Ray



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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

2011-06-26 Thread Marie P Read
Hi Marilyn,

Well, I don't see anything in this article that suggests any reason that 
cowbirds STARTED laying their eggs in other birds nests. We are talking about 
something that happened way back during the cowbird's evolutionary history 
here, tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago. So in fact we will never know 
exactly why the first cowbird female started the trend to parasitism. What your 
expert put forward was a theory of why the behavior might have been adaptive 
for the cowbird population, ie what advantages did the behavior offer the 
population.

It certainly is a plausible explanation, in my opinion.

Who was the biologist in the radio piece by the way?

Interesting topic

Marie (currently in June Lake, California hence my recent absence from 
Cayugabirds-L...but...I'll be back!!!)




Marie Read Wildlife Photography
452 Ringwood Road
Freeville NY  13068 USA

Phone  607-539-6608
e-mail   m...@cornell.edu

http://www.marieread.com

***NEW***  See my beautiful photo notecards:

http://www.marieread.com/cpg/displayimage.php?album=478pos=0

From: bounce-37740256-5851...@list.cornell.edu 
[bounce-37740256-5851...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Geo Kloppel 
[geoklop...@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 10:01 AM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

Hi Marilyn,

This article from the Smithsonian National Zoo covers your question:

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/scbi/migratorybirds/fact_sheets/default.cfm?
fxsht=3

-Geo

On Jun 26, 2011, at 9:06 AM, Marilyn Ray wrote:

 Hello Birders,

 The other day I got into my car just as a show about birds was
 ending on the car radio.  I did not get to hear the name of the
 expert who was telling the audience about why cowbirds started
 leaving their eggs in the nests of other birds to hatch and raise
 their young.  The expert said that the practice had its origins
 in the middle part of the country when cowbirds had traditionally
 followed the roaming buffalo herds and did not have time to lay and
 hatch their own eggs before the herd moved on and they had to follow.

 Could someone please tell me if this story is true?  If so, what
 was the food the birds got from following the buffalo that they
 could not get elsewhere?

 Thanks,
 Marilyn Ray



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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

2011-06-26 Thread Kevin J. McGowan
Before we start expert-bashing, let's hear some facts.  Who exactly said 
what?  There are a number of theories that have been put forth for the origin 
of brood parasitism in cowbirds (more than one species, by the way). I doubt if 
any real expert is convinced any one is the correct one or wouldn't 
entertain alternate ideas.  ;^)

Kevin



-Original Message-
From: bounce-37740454-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-37740454-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Marie P Read
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 3:20 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

Hi Marilyn,

Well, I don't see anything in this article that suggests any reason that 
cowbirds STARTED laying their eggs in other birds nests. We are talking about 
something that happened way back during the cowbird's evolutionary history 
here, tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago. So in fact we will never know 
exactly why the first cowbird female started the trend to parasitism. What your 
expert put forward was a theory of why the behavior might have been adaptive 
for the cowbird population, ie what advantages did the behavior offer the 
population.

It certainly is a plausible explanation, in my opinion.

Who was the biologist in the radio piece by the way?

Interesting topic

Marie (currently in June Lake, California hence my recent absence from 
Cayugabirds-L...but...I'll be back!!!)




Marie Read Wildlife Photography
452 Ringwood Road
Freeville NY  13068 USA

Phone  607-539-6608
e-mail   m...@cornell.edu

http://www.marieread.com

***NEW***  See my beautiful photo notecards:

http://www.marieread.com/cpg/displayimage.php?album=478pos=0

From: bounce-37740256-5851...@list.cornell.edu 
[bounce-37740256-5851...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Geo Kloppel 
[geoklop...@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 10:01 AM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Why cowbirds foster their eggs to other birds

Hi Marilyn,

This article from the Smithsonian National Zoo covers your question:

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/scbi/migratorybirds/fact_sheets/default.cfm?
fxsht=3

-Geo

On Jun 26, 2011, at 9:06 AM, Marilyn Ray wrote:

 Hello Birders,

 The other day I got into my car just as a show about birds was
 ending on the car radio.  I did not get to hear the name of the
 expert who was telling the audience about why cowbirds started
 leaving their eggs in the nests of other birds to hatch and raise
 their young.  The expert said that the practice had its origins
 in the middle part of the country when cowbirds had traditionally
 followed the roaming buffalo herds and did not have time to lay and
 hatch their own eggs before the herd moved on and they had to follow.

 Could someone please tell me if this story is true?  If so, what
 was the food the birds got from following the buffalo that they
 could not get elsewhere?

 Thanks,
 Marilyn Ray



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Please submit your observations to eBird:
http://ebird.org/content/ebird/

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