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Parasitism of Cape robin-chat (Cossypha caffra) by Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) : a further instance of egg dumping (Aves : Turdidae; Cuculidae) : scientific notes

  • Journal Title: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History
  • Volume: Volume 1
  • Issue: 
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 180  - 181
  • Authors:  G.B.P. Davies;
  • ISSN: 22204563
  • Abstract:  In southern Africa, the predominant hosts of Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) are Pycnonotus bulbuls, sombre greenbul (Andropadus importunus) and fiscal shrike (Lanius collaris) (Friedmann, 1964: 18-19; Rowan, 1983: 262-263; Tarboton, 2001: 103; Vernon and Dean in Hockey et al., 2005: 200-201). The white eggs of the cuckoo are starkly different from their preferred hosts' eggs (which are patterned), possibly suggesting these are newly acquired hosts. Aside from these regular hosts, Jacobin cuckoo also has an unusually long list of incidental hosts, Rowan (1983) accepting 15 further hosts and mentioning another four more dubious species. These rare parasitism events appear to be instances of egg dumping - the female Jacobin cuckoo evidently carrying an egg ready to be laid but without a suitable Pycnonotus/Andropadus/Lanius nest available.
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