Host use strategies of individual female brown-headed cowbirdsMolothrus ater in a diverse avian community

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) Science Article 7

abstract

Although it is well established that brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater are hostgeneralists, the parasitism strategies of individual females are not well documented.Here we use microsatellite genotyping to characterize host use by individual femalecowbirds. Of 205 offspring sampled at a site in northeastern Illinois during onebreeding season, we identified or inferred 33 mothers of 141 offspring, with up to 13(mean 4.72) offspring assigned to individual females.

Bill M. Strausberger and Mary V. Ashley, JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY 36: 313-321, 2005

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