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Female cowbirds pay attention to cowbird nestling survival, study finds


PhysOrg

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Brown-headed cowbirds have a reputation for being deadbeat parents: They lay their eggs in other birds' nests and then disappear, the story goes, leaving the care and feeding of their offspring to an unwitting foster family. A new study suggests, however, that cowbird moms pay close attention to how well their offspring do, returning to lay their eggs in the most successful host nests, and avoiding those that have failed.

 

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