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[Book review] Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites by Catherine Ortega. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press (1998). The Avian Brood Parasites: Deception at the Nest by Paul A. Johnsgard. New York: Oxford University Press (1997) Parasitic Birds and their Hosts: Studies in Coevolution edited by S.I. Rothstein & S.K. Robinson. New York: Oxford University Press (1998)

Animal Behaviour

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DOI: 10.1006/anbe.1999.1253

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Abstract

We are in a golden age for the study of brood parasitism, judging from both the quantity and quality of recent scientific publications on cuckoos, cowbirds and parasitic finches by investigators working in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. As Johnsgard (1997) remarks in his preface, the evolutionary, ecological, and behavioural questions posed by obligate brood parasites are among the most intriguing contemporary ornithological topics. Rothstein & Robinson (1998) explain that brood parasites make ideal subjects for testing the generality of models for the evolution of social and mating behaviour, foraging behaviour, spatial distribution, and vocal development, because the strategy of providing no parental care removes constraints imposed on other birds. Since Aristotle, people have been fascinated by brood parasites, but only in the past two decades has the number of investigators working on this topic reached a critical mass and created momentum that promises many breakthroughs. New studies are being completed so rapidly that a general book is inevitably out of date on some topics by the time it is published. A complete library on brood parasitism should add two recent volumes (Morrison et al. 1999; Smith et al., in press).to the three reviewed here.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
[Book review] Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites by Catherine Ortega. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press (1998). The Avian Brood Parasites: Deception at the Nest by Paul A. Johnsgard. New York: Oxford University Press (1997) Parasitic Birds and their Hosts: Studies in Coevolution edited by S.I. Rothstein & S.K. Robinson. New York: Oxford University Press (1998)
Series title:
Animal Behaviour
DOI:
10.1006/anbe.1999.1253
Volume
58
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
1155-1160
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1155
Last page:
1160
Number of Pages:
6