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Birds find ways to avoid raising cuckoos' young


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A new study suggests swallows and martins breed indoors and close to humans to avoid having to rear cuckoos. Some species of birds reproduce not by rearing their own young, but by handing that task on to adults of other species. Known as brood parasitism, this habit has been most thoroughly researched in the cuckoo. Previous research has found, however, that the nests of martins and swallows in Europe are rarely parasitized by cuckoos.P-cJr_BBEPY

 

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Some species of birds reproduce not by rearing their own young, but by handing that task on to adults of other species. Known as brood parasitism, this habit has been most thoroughly researched in the cuckoo. Previous research has found, however, that the nests of martins and swallows in Europe are rarely parasitized by cuckoos. A new study by Wen Liang from the Hainan Normal University in China and his colleagues suggests that swallows build their nests close to humans to reduce their susceptibility to brood parasitism. The findings are published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

 

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