Shiny cowbird parasitism in central Brazil

  • Cavalcanti R
  • Pimentel T
  • 38

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Abstract

Recent human settlement in Brasilia, Central Brazil, has greately reduced the extent of native cerrado vegetation. This has favored the Shiny Cowbird, Molothrus bo- nariensis, which is common in farmland and certain urban sites. Between September December of 1982 to 1984, we observed cowbird nestlings (n) or fledglings (f) attended by adults of Mimus saturninus (n), Thraupis sayaca (n), Thraupis palmarum (n,f), Cypsnagra hirundiacea (f), Hemithraupis guira (f), and Ammodramus humeralis (n). The Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Tyrannus savana, is rarely parasitized Brasilia, perhaps (one of 87 nests) in is reported to eject cowbird eggs from the nest; we performed artificial parasitism experi- ments, which suggest due to the availability of more suitable hosts. In Argentina, this flycatcher that in Brasilia it might accept cowbird eggs placed during incubation. A new host, the White-banded Tanager (Neothraupis fasciata) was found. It is heavily parasitized in disturbed sites, but virtually unparasitized in native cerrado. Cowbird pressure on cerrado birds is expected to increase with continued fragmentation of this habitat

Author-supplied keywords

  • Brazil
  • Molothrus bonariensis
  • Neothraupis ciata
  • Shiny Cowbird
  • Tyrannus savana
  • brood parasitism
  • cerrado.

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Authors

  • R B Cavalcanti

  • Thaís Martins Pimentel

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