Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Empty Nester' Parent Birds Use Recruitment Calls To Extend Offspring Care

Date:
September 9, 2006
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
By studying a habituated population of pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor) in the Kalahari Desert, researchers have discovered a surprising new way in which parent birds can extend the period of their care of offspring. The findings are reported by Andrew Radford of the University of Cambridge and Amanda Ridley of the University of Cape Town and appear in the September 5th issue of Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

By studying a habituated population of pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor) in the Kalahari Desert, researchers have discovered a surprising new way in which parent birds can extend the period of their care of offspring. The findings are reported by Andrew Radford of the University of Cambridge and Amanda Ridley of the University of Cape Town and appear in the September 5th issue of Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

Related Articles


It is well known that birds feed their young directly, but it is usually assumed that care ends when the young leave the nest and begin to forage for themselves. In many species, however, parents and young continue to associate with one another beyond this point of nutritional independence. Because juveniles are poor foragers, they might benefit from staying close to experienced adults, who can find the best feeding sites.

The new study shows that adult babblers continue to care for their young during this period. By observing the birds closely and performing simple playback and feeding experiments, the biologists found that babbler adults use a special "purr" call to recruit inexperienced fledglings to rich, divisible food sources (adults responding to the calls often met with aggression from the caller). The researchers found that fledglings that responded to this call were much more successful than those sticking to areas chosen by themselves. This work shows that recruitment calls by adult birds may prolong offspring care beyond the onset of nutritional independence, and it sheds new light on the sophistication of parental care among birds.

The researchers include Andrew N. Radford of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, United Kingdom; Amanda R. Ridley of the University of Cape Town in Rondebosch, South Africa.

A.N.R. was funded by an Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour research grant and a Junior Research Fellowship from Girton College, Cambridge. A.R.R. was funded by a Travelling Research Fellowship from Newnham College, Cambridge and by the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of Africian Ornithology Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "'Empty Nester' Parent Birds Use Recruitment Calls To Extend Offspring Care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060909151440.htm>.
Cell Press. (2006, September 9). 'Empty Nester' Parent Birds Use Recruitment Calls To Extend Offspring Care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060909151440.htm
Cell Press. "'Empty Nester' Parent Birds Use Recruitment Calls To Extend Offspring Care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060909151440.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins