As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Some Birds Become 'Maiden Aunts' to Defend Relatives' Chicks against Cuckoos

Birds know that there is safety in numbers, which is why some choose against laying eggs and instead become 'maiden aunts' to protect their relatives' chicks against cuckoos, a new study from Australia reported.

The study, conducted by biologists at the Australian National University and their colleagues at the University of Melbourne, found that birds have evolved co-operative breeding to protect their chicks against parasite birds such as cuckoos.

In about nine percent of bird species, some choose to take care of relatives' chicks instead of producing their own brood, according to Dr Naomi Langmore of the ANU Research School of Biology. Biologists often found it hard to explain such behavior.

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